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Romney's new ad touts his leadership on the economy while he was governor of Massachusetts
WASHINGTON (AP) ' TITLE: "Strong Leadership."
LENGTH: 30 seconds.
AIRING: The Romney campaign did not disclose where the ad is airing.
KEY IMAGES: Mitt Romney speaking and a panoramic shot of the Massachusetts Statehouse and Boston's skyline, followed by shots of a forklift driver, a welder and Romney greeting people in an office and a diner.
"Mitt Romney on day one," says a narrator. "The difference is strong leadership."
The narrator then says that Romney as Massachusetts governor had the best jobs record in a decade, that he reduced unemployment to just 4.7 percent and that he balanced every state budget without raising taxes.
"He did it by bringing parties together to cut through gridlock," the narrator says. "From day one as president, Mitt Romney's strong leadership will make all the difference on jobs."
ANALYSIS: Jobs and fixing the nation's sluggish economy are front and center in the presidential race. The Republican challenger's ad touting his record on the economy as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 comes on the heels of an ad by President Barack Obama's campaign urging Congress to pass his jobs proposals. Obama has been hammering Romney's record as governor, saying Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation during that time.
The ad's claim Romney had the best jobs record in a decade among Massachusetts governors is based on federal labor statistics, which show unemployment in the state dropped from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent while he was governor.
Massachusetts already was losing jobs when Romney took over as governor in 2003, but the trend was reversed during his tenure. Democrats point out that despite that change, Massachusetts lagged nearly all of the rest of the country in job creation.
The ad's claim that Romney balanced every budget without raising taxes is a centerpiece of his campaign and true as far as it goes. But the claim doesn't mean much; the law requires that the state's budget must be balanced each year.
And while he did not increase the state's income or sales taxes, Romney and Democratic lawmakers raised hundreds of millions of dollars in new and higher fees on marriage licenses, real-estate transactions, gun licenses, driving permits and more. Marriage licenses alone went to $50 from $4.
The increases were a way for Romney to boost state revenues and ease the budget squeeze while technically sticking to his pledge not to raise taxes.
Additionally, Romney raised $350 million to $375 million annually for three years by closing what his administration called business tax "loopholes." Many business executives saw the moves as tax increases.