Update at 2 p.m.: Here’s an excerpt of the Newscast recap of the tense event, from WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov (Update: And here’s Monica’s feature report):
As dozens of Mitt Romney supporters heckled and chanted, President Obama’s senior strategist, David Axelrod, said Romney’s economic plans didn’t work in Massachusetts and won’t work for the nation.
“After selling himself to Massachusetts as an economic savior, his Massachusetts record was alarmingly weak,” Axelrod said. “Under Gov. Romney, the state was 47th in job creation, manufacturing jobs vanished at twice the national rate, and household incomes fell even when they were rising nationally.”
Axelrod said public sector jobs grew at six times the rate of private sector jobs. And he said Romney claimed to be anti-tax but instead raised fees more than any other governor in the nation.
Earlier Thursday, state Republican leaders held a preemptive event where they vigorously defended Romney’s economic record as governor.
“The reason that Axelrod is here, the reason they are attacking Gov. Romney’s record … is that they have nothing positive to say about the last four years,” said state Rep. Daniel Winslow, who served as Romney’s chief legal counsel for two years, according to the AP.
The AP adds:
Axelrod’s appearance in Boston and the release of a new Web video by the Obama campaign signaled a renewed emphasis by the Democrats on Romney’s record as governor.
For more on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s tenure as governor, late last year we reported a six-part series, “Romney’s Roots In Massachusetts.”
Update at 12:10 p.m.: The Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson tweets that “reporters have to kneel at podium to ask [Axelrod] questions over Romney team’s chants.”
Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller reports that Axelrod is also getting asked about Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Update at 11:55 a.m.: There’s quite a crowd at the State House steps, with both Obama and Romney supporters holding signs and shouting.
As BuzzFeed reported ahead of the news conference:
Romney supporters [chanted] “Solllyyynndraaa” like Bruins fans heckling the visiting team.
As Obama supporters chanted “Fired up, and Ready to go,” Romney supporters added “home.”
Now that the news conference has begun, WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov reports that Obama backers at the podium are “being drowned out by shouting Romney supporters.”
President Obama’s re-election campaign and Massachusetts Democrats are holding a news conference on the State House steps to criticize Mitt Romney’s record as governor.
The president’s top strategist, David Axelrod, is joining Democratic mayors and legislators to criticize the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s job-creation and education records during his one term as governor.
As the Associated Press sets up the event:
Democrats cite federal statistics that Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states during Romney’s tenure from January 2003 to January 2007.
Earlier Thursday, Republican legislators staged a pre-emptive event in which they said the state’s unemployment rate dropped while Romney was governor, and that he also closed a multibillion dollar deficit as governor without raising taxes and improved the state’s bond rating.