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Overturned vetoes belie Romney claim of bipartisan success

November 01, 2012|By Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Stressing the importance of bipartisan collaboration, Mitt Romney boasted Wednesday about his work with a Democrat-dominated legislature while he was governor of Massachusetts.

“And it’s something I have to do – I’ve got to be able to reach across the aisle and get good Democrats and good Republicans to work together,” Romney told more than 4,000 people gathered at Veterans Memorial Arena.  “I happen to be elected in a state that has a few Democrats – Massachusetts.  My legislature was about 85% Democrat and it was not lost on me that to get anything done at all, and even to have my veto upheld, I had to have people across the aisle I could work with.”

But the GOP nominee consistently struggled to have his veto upheld during his tenure. Romney used his line-item veto 844 times, more than 700 of which were overturned by the Legislature, including every veto offered during his last year in office, according to an analysis by the Boston Globe.

Many Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts have also complained that Romney rarely reached out to them — or even knew their names. The former governor was better known for seeking out top Democratic leaders, like Sen. Ted Kennedy, who could help get programs like his universal healthcare program through the Legislature.

President Obama’s campaign has said the ultimate proof is in Romney’s poll numbers in Massachusetts. The latest poll showed Romney trailing Obama in the left-leaning state by double digits.

Seema.mehta@latimes.com

Maeve.reston@latimes.com

@LATSeema

@maevereston

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