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Romney Talks Economy, Opponents’ Mass.-Bashing, Time As Governor

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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Mitt Romney. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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DERRY, NH (CBS) – Mitt Romney took some time out of his schedule crisscrossing the state and getting ready for the debate to talk one-on-one with WBZ-TV on Saturday.

He said he was looking forward to the debate Saturday night.

“I’ve got broad shoulders. If I can’t handle this, how would I ever handle President Obama and his $1 billion?” Romney responded when asked if he believes his rivals will team up on him.

Romney has kept his eye focused on President Obama and he says he would do the same Saturday night.

“I will be going after the President pretty aggressively,” said Romney.

We asked Romney if it stands to reason that if you blame President Obama for bad news than he deserves some credit for the good news.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson sits down with Mitt Romney

“Well, it depends on the news that occurs. When the sun rises in the morning, we don’t congratulate the rooster,” Romney responded. “So it may be true the President may try to crow if there is good news, but so far we haven’t seen unemployment below 8% in 35 months.”

Since Romney has talked so much about jobs and the economy in your campaign, we asked him when the country gets good economic news, if it blunts his message?

Not at all, the Governor responded.

“I’m happy when we get good economic news,” he said. “Get these people back to work.” He says, “We’ve never had a recession that didn’t end and didn’t put people back to work. What’s unusual about this one is how deep the recession went in part because of the President’s policy.”

Romney’s also talked about his own record on jobs.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation confirms when Romney was Governor, the state was 47 of 50 in terms of job creation. Romney credits already-strong employment for that statistic.

“Massachusetts had a low rate of unemployment. We were below the national average,” he pointed out. “And Mass didn’t go down in as deep a hole as other states did, so the numbers about recovery were not steep either. We were proud during my term Massachusetts was below the national average three out of four quarters.”

Romney said his team also helped to build a pipe line to bring businesses to the state including Bristol Myers Squib.

What is Romney’s biggest frustration on the campaign trail? He said he really didn’t have any frustrations. He says he enjoys campaigning, calling it exhilarating to be out connecting with friends and talking about what you care about.

There’s been a lot of Massachusetts-bashing going on in the GOP race right now. What was Governor Romney’s proudest moment as Governor of Mass?

“Well getting elected was great,” Romney laughed. “There are times I was really moved. One of those was when people came out of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and people from all over the state brought goods and clothing, they came to volunteer. I was overwhelmed by the support from people in Massachusetts.”

He also remembers the outpouring of support for flood victims.

“The spirit of the people of Massachusetts to step up and help people in need was always an inspiration for me,” Romney said.

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