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James McGovern says Mitt Romney campaign ‘dishonest’

Congressman James McGovern meets with campaign volunteers at the Warren campaign headquarters in Northampton Tuesday.

Congressman James McGovern meets with campaign volunteers at the Warren campaign headquarters in Northampton Tuesday. JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

U.S. Rep. James McGovern of Worcester on Tuesday accused former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney of running a “dishonest campaign” for president.

McGovern made the remark at Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s campaign office in Greenfield during an Election Day tour of his new 2nd District.

He also planned to address Warren volunteers in Northampton and greet voters at the polls in Belchertown.

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“Politicians ought to stand for something. Winning elections has to more than telling you what you want to hear,” McGovern said in Greenfield. “You should demonstrate some leadership and tell people where you’re going to take the country and Mitt Romney has run such a dishonest campaign.”

McGovern, an eight-term Democrat, will represent much of the Pioneer Valley when the 113th Congress convenes in January. He is running unopposed in the new 2nd District created last year as part of redistricting. It comprises the eastern halves of Franklin and Hampshire counties and much of Worcester County.

McGovern now represents the 3rd District, which has 28 communities from Worcester to Fall River.

Much of western Massachusetts has been represented by U.S. Rep. John Olver, D-Amherst, for the last two decades. Olver will retire when his term ends in January.

McGovern said he plans to open district offices in Leominster and Northampton and is already looking for space in the latter.

“Part of what I have to prove to people is that I will be out here and care about the communities out here, the people out here as much as I care about Worcester,” McGovern said. “That’s something that I have to demonstrate and I think opening an office out here is one way to show that I am going to be committed to this area.”

McGovern said he is optimistic the new Congress will break through the partisan gridlock of recent years — even with Democrats seemingly on track to retain control of the Senate and Republicans apparently remaining in control of the House.

A second term for President Barack Obama is the best hope for ending such gridlock, McGovern said. If the president is re-elected, he said, the GOP would no longer need to focus its efforts on beating him at the polls.

“My hope is that the Republicans will turn their fire someplace else and start putting the country first over their political ambitions and over their party,” McGovern said.

He expressed uncertainty about how Romney would perform as president if he is elected. “Romney has had so many different personas in this campaign I don’t know which one is going to be president if he wins the election,” McGovern said.

He added that he is worried about some of the positions Romney took during the campaign, calling them “extreme” and “out of the mainstream.”

“I’m ready to work with anybody if they are going to pursue sensible legislation, but I am not going to roll over and play dead if they come up with an extremist agenda like we have (with) a Ryan budget,” McGovern said, referring to the budget proposal advanced by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin. “I am going to fight that with every ounce of energy I have because I don’t want to gut programs that help poor people and middle-income families.”

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