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State Democrats Taking Aim At Romney's Economics
Staff Reports, iBerkshires
10:37AM / Thursday, May 31, 2012

Former North Adams Mayor John Barrett III appears in a campaign ad taking aim at former Gov. Mitt Romney's economic expertise.
BOSTON — State Democrats are taking aim at former Gov. Mitt Romney's economic record on Thursday morning in support of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and former North Adams Mayor John Barrett III will join other party leaders at a press conference in front of the State House with Obama for America Senior Strategist David Axelrod.

The press conference is being held the same day as the debut of a television spot from the Obama campaign that also features the former North Adams mayor.

"Mitt Romney was not an effective leader in Massachusetts and the proof is in the pudding," says Barrett, the state's longest serving mayor, in the new ad.

Barrett, who had been a supportor of North Adams native daughter Jane Swift, Romney's Republican predecessor, had a rocky relationship with the governor (and his aide,  Eric Fehrnstrom). He wasn't the only one.

Romney's one term coincided with a significant downturn in the Massachusetts economy that put him at odds with the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the state's mayors, including Murray, then mayor of Worcestor.

Democrats say that during his term, the state was 47th in job creation and that Romney raised taxes and fees by $750 million. The Romney campaign has countered that the former governor left office with an unemployment rate of just over 4 percent.

Also speaking at the press conference will be Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, who served in the state Legislature when Romney was governor, and Mayor Joseph Curatone of Somerville.

Romney, who rarely ventured into the Berkshires and never visited North Adams, lost the county 2-1 to Democratic opponent Shannon O'Brien in 2002.
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