ROXBURY, Mass. — Mitt Romney used a small auto garage here as the setting to criticize President Obama for not meeting with his jobs council over the past six months, and hail the entrepreneurial spirit that brought small businesses to this community.
"Over the last six months, he has done 106 fundraisers," Romney said of Obama. "I think you learn something about his priorities. The job he's interested in protecting is his own."
But outside the auto shop — with protesters chanting "Shame on Romney, Shame on Bain!" — two local city officials went after the Republican candidate for comments he once made about their town. In 1994, Romney, then an executive at Bain Capital, said they didn't invest in businesses in Roxbury or nearby Dorchester because of "crime."
"You know what? If he didn't have the vision to turn around Roxbury then... how is going to have that vision when he's president?" said Tito Jackson, a city councilor representing Roxbury.
Jackson went on to criticize Romney's time as Massachusetts governor, accusing him of abandoning a campaign pledge to rebuild the long-vacant Ferdinand building, once he took office.
"He didn't create jobs when he was governor... he didn't find himself in this community very often, and you know what Mitt Romney? We know you," said Jackson.
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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