Massachusetts is a tricky topic for Romney because examining his record there involves many of the exact kinds of nuanced economic arguments that he is so desperate to avoid when we discuss Obama's record. For instance:
Massachusetts was one of just four states that by the time of the financial crisis still had not recovered all the jobs they had lost during the 2001 recession. [...]It would be fair to look at that and say that there were forces beyond Romney's control, that a governor can only do so much to change major economic trends, that maybe his actions prevented it from being worse. But since 95 percent of his argument against Obama depends on pretending those kind of explanations aren't legitimate, explaining Massachusetts is tough even for a shameless liar like Romney.
Other states that never fully recovered from the 2001 downturn were Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, all industrial states that had lost scores of manufacturing jobs. Like those states, Massachusetts has been losing manufacturing jobs for more than a decade. And Romney was unable to stem the tide. At the end of 2002, just before he entered office, there were 338,000 manufacturing jobs in the state. By the time he left, there were 298,000, a drop of 12 percent, according to federal data.