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Obama says Romney raised taxes as governor, jokes about birth certificate

NASHUA, N.H. -- President Obama opened a new line of attacks Saturday on opponent Mitt Romney regarding his time as Massachusetts governor and slammed Romney saying that the former governor raised taxes.

"[D]uring Governor Romney's campaign for governor down there, he promised the same thing he's promising now -- said he'd fight for jobs and middle-class families. But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you? "

The president made a stop in New Hampshire, which has no sales or income tax, just 10 days before Election Day trying to rally the four electoral votes and emphasize Romney's record in neighboring Massachusetts.

He also said Romney shied away from naming the hikes, and called taxpayer increases for common things "fees," not "taxes."

At a rally at an elementary school, Obama said of Romney's record as governor, "he says no these weren't taxes, these were fees. But keep in mind there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse, 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 that they were blind."

Obama even made a joke about those who claim he wasn't born inside the United States, saying the fees were on even on birth certificates, which the president said would have been expensive for him, which the crowd of 8,500 welcomed with laughter.

He went on to charge Romney left the state in a worse unemployment situation.

"And when he left office, there were only three states in the country that created fewer jobs than Massachusetts," Obama said.

The Romney campaign responded to Obama's attacks in a statement.

"Today's desperate attacks are laughable coming from a President whose only plan for a second term is to recycle the failed policies of the last four years while raising taxes by $2 trillion. As governor, Mitt Romney worked with Democrats to close a $3 billion deficit, balance four budgets while cutting taxes 19 times, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and lower the Massachusetts unemployment rate to 4.7 percent," said Ryan Williams, Romney campaign spokesman.

Williams added, "President Obama is the only candidate in this race who has raised taxes on America's middle class. As president, Mitt Romney will bring real change to Washington. His pro-growth agenda will strengthen the middle class, add 12 million new jobs, and finally deliver a real recovery."

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