Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), a longtime surrogate of President Barack Obama, used his unique vantage point as governor of Massachusetts to attack the record of his predecessor, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
"Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. I can tell you that Massachusetts was not one of them," Patrick said to applause. "He's a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job."
He linked the differences between himself and Romney to the 2012 election: "The same choice faces the nation today. All that today's Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well."
Patrick touted Obama's decision to order the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq, starting the process to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Lily Ledbetter law, ending "don't ask, don't tell," and other moves.
"With a record and a vision like that, I will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office -- and neither should you." That line drew roaring applause from the crowd.
Patrick is a longtime friend and ally of Obama, having been an early endorser of him. Patrick grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where Obama spent significant time as a community organizer. They are both black politicians who were young during the civil rights movement and who attended elite educational institutions. Their campaigns have also shared similar themes -- something which led to charges of plagiarism by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008.
Patrick was elected after then-Gov. Mitt Romney decided not to run for reelection in 2006, ending 16 years of Republican control at the Massachusetts State House. Patrick has offered endless praise -- which also serves to to highlight Romney's sometimes awkward positioning -- for the health care law that the GOP nominee signed into law in Massachusetts. He only mentioned it in passing in his speech, saying that the state led the nation in health care coverage -- an achievement stemming largely from the state's requirement that individuals hold health insurance.
Patrick, however, has differed from Obama in one key area: He has defended Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Romney headed and what he presents as a primary qualification for being president. His aides insist that criticizing Romney's record there is "fair game," though Bain was not mentioned in his speech.
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