The Washington Times - September 6, 2011, 09:44AM

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s GOP presidential campaign released a new Web ad Tuesday attacking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s record on job creation, calling it “one of the saddest records.”

In the 60-second spot titled “#1 vs. #47,” Mr. Huntsman contrasts his gubernatorial record on job creation with Mr. Romney’s.

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“Beneath all the bluster, beneath the razzle, the dazzle, numbers never lie,” the narrator says. “As the conservative governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman quietly, thoughtfully led Utah to leading the nation in job creation.”

The ad continues: “About the same time, another governor led Massachusetts — led them close to the very bottom. Massachusetts ended up 47th in job creation — 47th out of 50.”

The criticism comes hours before Mr. Romney is scheduled to roll out his jobs plan during a speech today in Las Vegas. He previewed his speech in a USA Today op-ed over the weekend, saying it would will consist of “59 specific proposals — including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office — to turn around America’s economy.”

He added, “Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur.”

The Huntsman ad also comes on the heels of a poor August jobs report Friday that showed the country produced no new net jobs last month, opening up a fresh round of attacks on President Obama’s economic record and generating the sense that the incumbent is growing increasingly vulnerable as he gears up for the 2012 campaign.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also took a swipe at Mr. Romney’s jobs record during a town hall in South Carolina, telling the crowd that his record on economic opportunity is second to none in the GOP presidential field.

“While he was the governor of Massachusetts, he didn’t create many jobs,” Mr. Perry, in his third term as governor, said at the event, hosted by Rep. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican freshman closely allied with the tea party movement.

During his 2003-07 tenure in Massachusetts, Mr. Romney saw the state’s overall job growth increase by roughly 1.2 percent, while national employment grew by more than 5 percent, according to an analysis earlier this year by The Washington Times of seasonally-adjusted employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over his four-plus years leading Utah ending in 2009, Mr. Huntsman presided over a 4.8 percent increase in jobs, while employment plummeted nationwide by 1.9 percent. Mr. Perry’s Texas, meanwhile, has recorded a more than 11 percent increase in jobs during his tenure.