NASHUA, N.H. — President Barack Obama tried to sway voters yesterday in the anti-tax state by criticizing Republican rival Mitt Romney for backing “cradle-to-grave” tax and fee hikes when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Obama spoke to about 8,500 people outside a middle school in Nashua, on the Massachusetts border. Pointing out the proximity, Obama said that while Romney promised to fight for jobs and middle-class families when he ran for governor, he ended up pushing through a tax cut that helped the wealthy while raising fees that hurt the middle class to the tune of $750 million.
“There were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse,” he said. “There were higher fees for gas. There were higher fees for milk. There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate (saying) that they were blind.”
Obama, who has been accused by members of the birther movement of being born outside the United States, joked that Romney even “raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would’ve been expensive for me.”
Rounding out the list was a fee on funeral homes, Obama said.
“There were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees,” he said, adding that during Romney’s time as governor, only three states ranked lower in job creation than Massachusetts.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams called Obama’s criticism “laughable coming from a president whose only plan for a second term is to recycle the failed policies of the last four years.” He said Romney cut taxes 19 times as governor and created tens of thousands of new jobs.
“President Obama is the only candidate in this race who has raised taxes on America’s middle class,” he said.
Yesterday’s rally was the Democratic president’s sixth trip to New Hampshire this year and was one of several high-profile campaign events planned for the state in the next few days, though a huge storm barreling toward the East Coast had both campaigns adjusting travel schedules and canceling events.