WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (BSS/AFP) - US President Barack Obama's
campaign lashed Mitt Romney for "hypocrisy" on China Friday,
claiming his tough talk was undermined by his business record of
shipping US jobs to the Asian giant.
The Democratic counter-punch came a day after Romney hammered
Obama's record on China, and renewed his promise to brand it a
currency manipulator on his first day in office in remarks which
drew a stern rebuke from Beijing.
Obama's campaign enlisted former Democratic governor Ted
Strickland of vital swing state Ohio, which has seen thousands of
manufacturing jobs migrate to developing economies abroad, to
press the president's attack.
"Governor Romney's hypocrisy apparently knows no end. He
claims that he'll crack down on China but he's never done that
and I don't think he ever will," Strickland said, unloading
criticism on Romney's past as a venture capitalist.
"The truth is, Mr Romney's made a fortune investing in firms
that specialize in shipping jobs to China and other low wage
"Romney's economic philosophy was simple, and hasn't changed:
profits over people, even if that means Americans lose their
jobs," Strickland said on a conference call with reporters.
The Obama campaign also debuted a new advertisement which
will air in nine battleground states which plowed similar ground
to Strickland and accuses Romney of investing some of his fortune
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul however said that Obama's
policies towards Beijing had deepened the misery of Americans
stuck in the slow economic recovery.
"They've cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and left American
manufacturing in decline. As president, Mitt Romney will take
immediate action to stop China's cheating and protect American
jobs here at home," she said.
Romney had launched his own attack on China on Thursday,
branding Beijing a cheat because of its currency and trade
"The cheating takes on a lot of different dimensions," Romney
"The president's had the chance year after year to label
China a currency manipulator, but he hasn't done so. And I will
label China the currency manipulator they are on the first day."
Romney's remarks were met with a stinging response in a
commentary carried by China's official Xinhua news agency.
"It is advisable that politicians, including Romney, should
abandon ... short-sighted China-bashing tricks and adopt at least
a little bit of statesmanship on China-US ties," the commentary
The unnamed author also warned a trade war would likely break
out if Romney took office and honored his threat to label China a
currency manipulator, and also accused the former Massachusetts
governor of hypocrisy.
"It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this
China-battering politician's wealth was actually obtained by
doing business with Chinese companies before he entered
Strickland seized on that comment to make a wider point about
Romney's foreign policy credentials.
"If even the Chinese government is willing to publicly call
out this hypocrisy, how can we expect them to take him seriously
if he were president?"
China bashing is a regular feature of US election campaigns,
but once in office, presidents have a habit of following decades-
long US foreign policy orthodoxy of seeking cooperation with
Top Chinese leaders have told Obama that they expect a
measure of anti- Beijing rhetoric in the US election, US
officials have said.
But the Xinhua commentary appeared to be a shot across
Romney's bow and suggest a rocky period for Sino-US relations if
he comes from behind to beat Obama in the election on November 6.