Team Obama is planning to shift from its nonsensical attacks on Bain Capital to attacking Mitt Romney’s stint as governor of Massachusetts. Romney’s record is fair game, but the Obama campaign would have been wise to consult with the state’s current governor first. Deval Patrick succeeded Romney as governor, and hit MSNBC this morning, just hours before the new Obama attacks are to be launched, criticizing the president’s strategy in slamming Bain. Patrick also praised Romney’s gubernatorial record on unemployment.
MIKE BARNCLE: “Governor Patrick, do you know what the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was when Mitt Romney left office?”
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: ”I think when he left office, it was in the 4s. I want to say 4.3, about what the national average was.”
JOE SCARBOROUGH: “That’s pretty good.”
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: ”Is that about right? Yeah. It was about — by the time he left, it was about what the national rate was. I think it had trailed the national rate, been higher than the national rate for most of his time, but by the time he left, I think that’s about right.”
Gov. Patrick has a good reason to note the Romney unemployment rate: Massachusetts’ current unemployment stands at 6.5%. That’s well below the national average under Obama, but more than two points higher than when Romney was governor. An attack on Romney’s unemployment rate exposes the fact that under Patrick the state is faring worse, and the nation is faring worse yet.
But Obama is more than welcome to launch this attack if he wants to. It’s likely to go about as well for him as the Bain attacks did.