(CNN) – After weeks of hitting Mitt Romney for his tenure at Bain Capital, President Barack Obama's re-election team shifted focus to the Republican's record as governor of Massachusetts Wednesday, painting his time in the state house as overloaded with unfulfilled promises.
In a campaign memo, Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod wrote that Romney gave voters a misleading portrayal of his business background. Axelrod will hold a campaign press conference at the Boston State House Thursday, an Obama campaign source said.
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"Ten years ago, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that his experience in business uniquely qualified him to strengthen the state's economy," Axelrod wrote. "Foreshadowing the message of his current campaign, Romney presented himself as a 'job creator,' whose experience as a corporate buyout specialist had given him special insight into how to grow the economy."
Axelrod continued, "It was a false representation. For, as even his colleagues have acknowledged, Romney's goal in business was never job creation. It was to maximize quick profits for himself and his investors."
That mindset, Axelrod wrote, led to disappointing economic conditions for residents of Massachusetts.
"Republicans and Democrats across the state were hopeful that he would deliver on his promises," Axelrod wrote. "When he left office, however, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and over his four years, Massachusetts' record of job creation was among the worst in the nation."
Axelrod cites a statistic in his memo that Massachusetts was ranked 47th out of 50 states in terms of job creation during Romney's tenure as governor – a figure members of Obama's re-election team frequently use in criticizing their GOP rival.
The non-partisan PolitiFact characterized the Obama campaign's use of that statistic "half true," saying in June 2011 the numbers themselves are correct, but that it's a stretch to blame Romney (or any governor) for a state's jobs numbers.
A Romney campaign spokeswoman portrayed the latest attacks from Obama's team as "desperate," saying they reflected a less-than-stellar jobs creation record on the president's part.
"This is another desperate attack from President Obama because he has no positive record to run on," Romney press secretary Andrea Saul wrote. "Mitt Romney created more jobs in the state of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation. President Obama has failed to meet his own goal of 6% unemployment and has a net negative record on job creation."
She continued, "If President Obama had even half the job creation record of Mitt Romney, then he would be running on it."
The figure Saul cites – that Romney created more jobs in Massachusetts than Obama had created as president – is another frequent line used on the campaign trail.
PolitiFact rated that fact as accurate, but pointed out "there were two national recessions that bookended Romney's four years in office."
Axelrod also took aim at Romney's record on taxes as governor, saying the Republican broke a promise to fight high taxes on working families.
"In Massachusetts in 2002, Romney promised to fight against higher taxes on working families," Axelrod wrote. "But he raised taxes and fees on middle class families and small businesses that hit average taxpayers in the pocketbook, raised a gas tax, and the tax burden on Bay Staters was up more than $1,200 at the end of his term."
Romney's record on taxes was similarly hit by fellow Republicans during the GOP primaries. A CNNMoney analysis of his record determined he cut select taxes while in office, and proposed some new tax cuts that didn't pass the legislature - like a 0.3 percentage point reduction in the 5.3% state income tax rate.
But he also had an obligation to balance the state's budget every year, and when he came into office he was facing a big deficit that he plugged using a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases.
In his memo Wednesday, Axelrod also took Romney to task for his handling of Massachusetts' debt and deficit while governor, writing "Romney left a billion dollar deficit to his successor, having giving the public rosier projections than they were discussing internally."
Axelrod continued, "Now, Romney's promising eliminating the budget deficit and ensuring that children have a future free from the nation's debt. But his record shows that it didn't work in Massachusetts and it won't work now."
A Washington Post fact check of Romney's record on cutting the deficit in Massachusetts pointed out that "it doesn't make sense to mention Massachusetts's debt when it's not comparable to national debt in terms of its nature, or even in terms of its annual rate of growth."
The Washington Post also interviewed the non-partisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which said that Romney's record on debt in the state wasn't necessarily out of the ordinary.
"I didn't get the sense that he attacked the problem or that he exacerbated it," Michael Widmer, the group's president, is quoted as saying. "The increases weren't dramatic compared to state finances, but, nonetheless, debt did increase."
CNN's Jim Acosta and CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.