Piggybacking on President Barack Obama's campaign ad that begin airing in Virginia Monday attacking GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's time as governor of Massachusetts, state Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, held a press conference Wednesday at Obama's Richmond campaign headquarters to reiterate the campaign's claims that manufacturing jobs were lost; taxes went up for the middle and hourly wages went down in Massachusetts during Romney's tenure.
"While Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts his state's economic performance was one of the worst in the country by all accounts," McEachin said. "Mitt Romney took office in a time of economic growth, but job growth in Massachusetts was far slower than it was nationally. In fact Massachusetts went from 37th in the nation to 47th in job growth under Romney. Gov. Romney's manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts declined by 14 percent - twice that of the national average and put more than 40,000 people out of work."
Romney served as governor of Massachusetts fro 2003 to 2007. McEachin said that during those four years the average hourly wage when adjusted for inflation went down from $17.19 per hour to $16.35 per hour.
To underscore this point an Obama campaign volunteer, Greg Scott, who works for an hourly wage at OMG Cafe in Richmond, said if his pay fell during a Romney presidency he'd have to make some tough choices.
"If my wages dropped 5 percent like they did for all those people in Massachusetts it would be devastating for my family," Scott said. " I don't know how I'd make ends meet... Under Mitt Romney I'd go back to the days where it was choice between paying the bills or paying the groceries."
In response Virginia communications director for the Romney Campaign, Curt Cashour, produced a chart showing that during Romney's term as governor unemployment fell in Massachusetts by nearly a full percentage point from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent; tens of thousands of jobs were created and the state's credit rating was upgraded.
“We’re happy to compare Governor Romney’s record of success to President Obama’s dismal record any day," Cashour said. "As governor, Mitt Romney closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, cut taxes, balanced four budgets, created jobs, and left a $2 billion rainy day fund. As president, Barack Obama has a record of trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt, lost jobs, and the highest chronic unemployment in recorded history. If President Obama had even half of Mitt Romney’s record on jobs and the economy, he’d be running on it.”
But like Romney, Obama is putting out numbers and statistics that shed a positive light on his economic record. As McEachin said during his press conference, "Under this president we've seen 27 straight months of job creation and 4.4 million new jobs created."