Team Obama tries to turn Romney’s attacks on China against him; waxes anti-free trade instead

posted at 2:41 pm on September 26, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Mitt Romney has been making hay on the campaign trail over President Obama’s lack of a consistently assertive policy on trade with China, and Team Obama is attempting to turn Romney’s argument on its head and instead hoist him with his own petard. In classic Team-Obama fashion, however, they’re setting up a falsely equivalent, populist narrative that in essence yet again hits Romney for being an effective and successful global businessman, rather than on the actual policies that Mitt Romney is referring to in his own attacks.

On the campaign trail in Ohio today, President Obama is planning on touting his own administration’s ostensible credentials on keeping tabs on China, while simultaneously going after Romney on his private investments entangled in the Chinese economy. Here’s the ad that Team Obama released today on the subject:

The way Team Obama is framing this little blurb of low-rent intellectual dishonesty is actually pretty clever — in essence, ‘Hey, why is Mitt Romney getting rich off of the very perpetrators he claims are cheaters?’ But, if you think about it a little more deeply, what exactly is it that President Obama is proposing here? That it’s wrong for the United States to do business and engage in free trade with China, which is all that Mitt Romney did? Because that would benefit exactly nobody.

To borrow one of the president’s favorite phrases, let me be clear: I do not in any shape, manner, or form approve of China’s communist, oppressive, brutal regime. I have only disdain for communism in all its forms, and sympathy for the soul-crushing drudgery in which millions of people in China live. A family friend of ours who recently got back from living a few years abroad in China told us that her impression was that the country is run by about 100 people, and there are a million and one state-controlled mechanisms in place to just herd the brainwashed masses right along. Whatever the exact number of China’s communist-party upper crust might be, I’d say that sounds about right — the tiny ruling class is willing to sacrifice significant gains from trade in order to maintain their power and and privilege. But that doesn’t mean that cutting off trade would be the best way to influence China’s political order, au contraire.

Free trade is a surefire way to encourage freedom and democracy, and one of the best routes through which we can positively impact what goes on over there. Interaction via business cooperation can help to spread both a wealth of ideas and material prosperity, and if China really wants to unleash the power of their people’s ingenuity and promote innovation, they’d have a lot of liberalizing political-economic reforms to put in place before they could even come close to getting on our level.

The rise of China as it stands today is indeed cause for alarm; but a freer, more open, liberalized China would be a boon to them, us, and the world at large. There is much ado about China’s GDP overtaking ours within the next few years (although, not even remotely in per-capita terms), but the thing about communism is that it traditionally doesn’t do too well in the long-term. While our own financial mess is dire, to be sure, China’s got their own gigantic heap of fiscal problems they’re going to have to eventually deal with, and the recent unveiling of their first-ever aircraft carrier is a perfect example of the sort of jingoistic, power-projecting parades they feel compelled to put on in order to maintain their hold over their people.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, none of this necessarily means that we should just go belly-up and let China do whatever they please and walk all over us. Intellectual property theft, for instance, is a real problem that comes at a huge cost to our own economy and our innovators and entrepreneurs, and we need to hold the line on it. But is Barack Obama suggesting that it’s American businesses’ fault for investing in promising global ventures, which then turn around and flout the rules of free-market engagement? As if Mitt Romney should’ve known in advance that these companies would engage in market perfidy, merely because they’re Chinese? As in, Chinese companies do not deserve a chance at all, and no American has any business making money off of them?

Well, heads up, people: We all send China our money and get richer off of them. Just check your clothing labels and beneath your dinner plates. I rather think that Mitt Romney’s business experience makes him better poised to deal with China’s economic malpractice, not less. I’d also be much more comfortable dealing with China if we had our own fiscal house in order and if we were operating at a more robust level of economic growth — things that are guaranteed not to happen under President Obama’s watch.


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I’ve found it interesting that Obama ads are running against Romney ads. This isn’t the first one that does so.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Our last free-trade agreement was in 2007.

Meanwhile, China & Europe have had many agreements with their trading partners.

One of many reasons why we’re sinking.

itsnotaboutme on September 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Why is O’bamna even bothering to campaign in Ohio?

After all, according to that new C-NS “Poll”, he’s got a 10 point lead there.

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM

IMO, it is not a good idea for bho/team to go against R&R on anything to do with the economy? bho/team has zero credibility on anything to do with the economy?
L

letget on September 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

But, if you think about it a little more deeply,

Which can never be expected by the low-information voter.

DrStock on September 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Obama does not understand how our economy works. Why should we expect him to understand China’s. Let alone how the two would/should work together.
WAY out of his league on this issue.

Jabberwock on September 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Team Obama, making Jimmy Carter look GOOD

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I’ve found it interesting that Obama ads are running against Romney ads. This isn’t the first one that does so.

lorien1973 on September 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Campaigning from behind!! Let’s pray it is so!!

Deano1952 on September 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Why is O’bamna even bothering to campaign in Ohio?

After all, according to that new C-NS “Poll”, he’s got a 10 point lead there.

Del Dolemonte on September 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Indeed. My state of O-I-H-O is going down to the wire.

Bitter Clinger on September 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Yeah, Obama…tough on China. Said no one, ever.

I caught some of the manufacturing roundtable Romney held in OH today. Excellent stuff. Contrasts sharply with the usual, preacher-like platitudes from Obama.

changer1701 on September 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Hey why is Mitt Romney getting rich off China instead letting China get rich off him? Obama’s got the right plan, borrow money from China then send them stimulus dollars back to create jobs in China.

I am getting really excited for another 4 years with Obama railing against the rich so he can serve up another helping of shovel-ready shinola. How about you?

msmveritas on September 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Heck of a time for Dear Liar to start bashing China here in NW Ohio:
http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2012/09/26/Mayor-Bell-bemoans-timing-of-Toledo-s-China-conference.html

Mitt Romney calls the Chinese “cheaters.”

President Obama boasts that he’s taken action to rein in unfair Chinese competition.

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell says he wishes both Mr. Romney and President Obama would have picked a different week to come to the Toledo area.

Toledo is host to dozens of Chinese investors on the same day that both presidential candidates will be in the area. Their presence alone could be a problem, Mr. Bell said.

“It is absolutely a hindrance,” he said. “I find it very interesting both candidates wind up in this area at the exact same time we are doing this when we still have plenty of days [before] the election to come here and do whatever. … It is probably just a coincidence, but it sure is a weird one.”

The widening American-Chinese trade gap has become a key campaign issue.

Mr. Romney has promised to crack down on “cheaters like China.” The Obama campaign is reminding voters that the administration saved 1,000 jobs by imposing a tariff on Chinese-made tires to address what it said was a flood of underpriced tires.

Now with both candidates in the Toledo area today — the same time the city has rolled out a red carpet for Chinese investors — Mayor Bell frankly is wishing that President Obama and Mr. Romney would visit next week instead.

rbj on September 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

The audacity of Mitt Romney, of all people, releasing ads against global capitalism. Its…stunning.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Obama wants to rule like China.

Krugman and Friedman like China too.

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The audacity of Mitt Romney, of all people, releasing ads against global capitalism. Its…stunning.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I want to see Romney put an ad out against global taxes. Obama will be sure to introduce them in a second term.

“Fund your Utopia without me” — Resist We Much

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Meanwhile………………………….

Romney fundraiser planned Thursday in Hong Kong
— Sep. 26 2:45 PM EDT
**********************

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plan a campaign fundraiser for him Thursday in Hong Kong as U.S.-China trade friction becomes an issue in the White House race.

Romney supporters already have raised more than $385,000 for him in Hong Kong, a world financial center that has been administered by China since Britain turned it over in 1997.

Romney accuses China’s government of trade, currency and intellectual property abuses, and says President Barack Obama has failed to confront Chinese officials as the abuses worsened.

Obama supporters say the administration has stood up to China and accuse Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, of aiding the shift of American jobs to China.
======================

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/romney-fundraiser-planned-thursday-hong-kong

canopfor on September 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM

“Nice guy” is at it again!

LiquidH2O on September 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Now with both candidates in the Toledo area today — the same time the city has rolled out a red carpet for Chinese investors — Mayor Bell frankly is wishing that President Obama and Mr. Romney would visit next week instead.
rbj on September 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I am not sure to think this funny or not.
Surely, I feel for this poor Mayor.
Talk about getting sucker punched.
Don’t think his guests will be picking up the tab tonight.

Jabberwock on September 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

The audacity of Mitt Romney, of all people, releasing ads against global capitalism. Its…stunning.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Says the avowed Marxist anti-capitalist… This my friends is what the stench of fear smells like…

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

On the campaign trail in Ohio today, President Obama is planning on touting his own administration’s ostensible credentials on keeping tabs on China

Yup, and it’s really easy, too – when China plops an aircraft carrier into the region, and The Commie hammers America’s defense budget.

Great work, Team Commie! You just keep on keepin’ tabs on!

OhEssYouCowboys on September 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

As goes CA ……

In a statement to KTVU, Comcast California’s regional vice president Andrew C. Johnson said that the company’s decision was based on the “high cost of doing business” in the state.

“Comcast arrived at this decision after thoughtfully and methodically studying the market and our potential options. We determined that the high cost of doing business in California makes it difficult to run cost-effective call centers in Northern California,” said Johnson.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/comcast-closing-its-california-call-centers-1000-j/nSLqg/

burrata on September 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

This is OT, but –

I just went to Little Green Footballs to see what they say about the Romney-Ryan “stench” satire, and although I didn’t read all 500+ comments, most of them seem to believe that it was true. They are salivating over it.

I haven’t visited LGF in a year or more; I had forgotten how idiotic they are.

Another plus of a Romney win will be knowing how it upsets Charles Johnson.

KyMouse on September 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

The audacity of Mitt Romney, of all people, releasing ads against global capitalism. Its…stunning.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM

And then Obama following on with an ad critical of Romney practicing global capitalism. Breathtaking indeed.

Jabberwock on September 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Household income down 8.2% since Obama took office…

That alone should unseat the Jerk in the White House…

PatriotRider on September 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Says the avowed Marxist anti-capitalist… This my friends is what the stench of fear smells like…

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

SW, I know it’s therapeutic, to hammer such Statist filth – but ignoring ‘em is what KILLS ‘EM.

It just KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLS ‘EM.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

How come everybody is worried about what Mitt Romney MIGHT do and not worrying about what Obama IS doing?

timberline on September 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Another plus of a Romney win will be knowing how it upsets Charles Johnson.

KyMouse on September 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Is Charles “Eatadickerus” Johnson’s failed blog even still up?

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

SW, I know it’s therapeutic, to hammer such Statist filth – but ignoring ‘em is what KILLS ‘EM.

It just KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLS ‘EM.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

ROTFLMAO… I’m not trying to kill him, he’s way to much fun for that. I’m just messin with his head. ;p

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

How come everybody is worried about what Mitt Romney MIGHT do and not worrying about what Obama IS doing?

timberline on September 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

that’s all they’ve got.

rollthedice on September 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

told us that her impression was that the country is run by about 100 people, and there are a million and one state-controlled mechanisms in place to just herd the brainwashed masses right along.

Yep. We’ve had acquaintances come back with similar tales. China has what Stein refers to as a whimsical government. Not in the childhood feel good fantasy kind of whimsy, but in the fact that it has so many laws, rules, and regulations, that all citizens are guaranteed to be breaking at least one simply by their very existence. So, they don’t worry too much about it, knowing that at the whimsy of the government they can be arrested for whatever crime it is they are committing. The whole thing then is to keep one’s head down and not get noticed. They can’t arrest everyone, only the ones that displease someone in power.

AZfederalist on September 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Yes, Little Green Footballs is still there. All of the comments I read followed the party line — I wonder if anyone ever is allowed to dissent?

Their comments tend to read like posts from Kipling’s Bandar-log “people.”

KyMouse on September 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

ROTFLMAO… I’m not trying to kill him, he’s way to much fun for that. I’m just messin with his head. ;p

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Better be wearing gloves and wash up afterwards; you know where that head has been.

/surprised you could find it, it’s buried pretty deep.

AZfederalist on September 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

burrata on September 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

And, as goes New York

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Yes, Little Green Footballs is still there. All of the comments I read followed the party line — I wonder if anyone ever is allowed to dissent?

KyMouse on September 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Nope.

Would be a great psychology dissertation for someone though

AZfederalist on September 26, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Yes, Little Green Footballs is still there. All of the comments I read followed the party line — I wonder if anyone ever is allowed to dissent?

Their comments tend to read like posts from Kipling’s Bandar-log “people.”

KyMouse on September 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Meh, can’t be much longer before the cost of keeping it up finally consumes the last of his saving/inheritance.

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Better be wearing gloves and wash up afterwards; you know where that head has been.

/surprised you could find it, it’s buried pretty deep.

AZfederalist on September 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Remote controlled “Waldo’s“. Wink wink nod nod… ;p

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

US grads work as waiters.

Italy’s are jobless.

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

China is trying desperately to quell ‘unrest’ occurring on a massive scale around the nation due to the fact that the few in China are now sporting Ferrari’s, Chanel handbags, iphones, and living in luxurious estates while the rest of China endures strict poverty level existence and for many million, that’s well below what we would consider the poverty level. These ‘mini revolutions’ are springing up across China, despite the Communist Parties best efforts to contain them.

All the party bosses can do is put a lid on the protests and violence as quickly as they spring up and see that the event is not reported in the state run media and censor the internet and cellphone usage.

When the first Chanel Boutique opened in Shanghai, communism began to crumble.

With every iphone spotted on the streets in China, communism begins to crumble.

When the fire red Ferrari showboats down the street, communism begins to crumble in China.

With every luxury estate built by a Chinese billionaire, communism begins to crumble.

There was a riot in a dorm at one of the many Apple factories the other day. It involved more than two thousand employees who live there. These factories house people like they house their products: warehouse style. Some of these factories are like a CITY.

They may have 100,000 employees on site. These employees who make the iphones have no avenue, due to communism, to advance to a position where they could even hope to afford the product that they actually make with their labor. This reality, and the despair that it engenders, is even causing suicides among these workers.

Yet, they aspire to own these gadgets. They aspire to own a Ferrari. They aspire to own a home. These are human beings, not ‘units’.

Free trade is the best way to insure that eventually the dictators fall, that communism crumbles into dust, and that people decide to become free.

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Since Barack Obama has been President, he’s signed three trade agreements.

China has signed fifteen and they are negotiating twenty more.

The United States of America currently carries a massive trade deficit with China. As a matter of fact, the portion of our total trade deficit, with the entire world, held by China, alone, is well over HALF.

Mitt Romney has made it clear that he means to renegotiate our trade agreements with China, and other around the globe, so that they are advantageous to this nation and represent our best interests.

Romney is not ‘anti-free trade’.

Mitt Romney understands that trade is only valuable if it PROFITS this nation and serves our own interests first.

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Free trade is the best way to insure that eventually the dictators fall, that communism crumbles into dust, and that people decide to become free.

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Meanwhile Jimmy Carter II is doing everything he can to ensure that America is “Fundamentally Transformed” into that shining Marxist Utopia in hell…

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

libfreeordie on September 26, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Says the avowed Marxist anti-capitalist… This my friends is what the stench of fear smells like…

SWalker on September 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

…I don’t think that ‘stench’…is fear!

KOOLAID2 on September 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Once again Romney is attacked for speaking the truth, this time about China. Oblamer does have a formidable economic plan though:

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

AND

“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency”

Vladimir Lenin

I hear the printing presses are working overtime.

OTTO on September 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

OOPS CORRECTION

Attention Terp Mole and astonerii
Google Wikipedia

109th Congress
January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007
House
Democrats: 232
Republicans: 201
Independents: 1

Senate
Democrats: 44
Republicans: 55
Independents: 1

110th Congress
January 3, 2007, to January 3, 2009
House
Democrats: 233
Republicans: 202
Independents: 0

Senate
Democrats: 49
Republicans: 49
Independents: 2

Had the dems and gop mixed up on 110th Congress.

timberline on September 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

And, as goes New York

Schadenfreude on September 26, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I don’t know how other local newscasts are campaigning for Hussein,
but here, I have noticed a daily effort by every network to include atleast 2 stories about
1. The housing market has recovered and reaching for the sky as home prices are inching upwards

2. There is so much hiring going on that there is now a shortage of workers

This spinning has been going on for almost 2 months now.
CA’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, inspite of doing everything as per the lefty agenda for decades .
And then this Comcast thing happens.
Moonbeam must be wondering –what happened ??

burrata on September 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Free trade is the best way to insure that eventually the dictators fall, that communism crumbles into dust, and that people decide to become free.

thatsafactjack on September 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Horse crap. Jefferson operated the Government of the USA with no internal taxes whatsoever by putting a 10% tariff on all goods produced outside of the USA. It fostered self reliance and paid for the Government at the same time. The only effect of free trade is to allow companies to flee the USA and its onerous regulations and destroy the companies that produce things here.

As to the other point, I am not interested in the failings of the Chinese, nor do I want to support them in their quest for freedom at the expense of my people. Seal the border, employ only Americans, tariff goods made outside of the USA, repeal regulations that foster hiring illegals and prevent production here in the USA and watch American companies grow.

Next you will tell us that it is the responsibility of the USA to promote “Democracy” rather than republics across the world.

Bulletchaser on September 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Bulletchaser 4:55

Hear, hear.

avgjo on September 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Obama’s dream for America: “A family friend of ours who recently got back from living a few years abroad in China told us that her impression was that the country is run by about 100 people, and there are a million and one state-controlled mechanisms in place to just herd the brainwashed masses right along.”

Obama and his 100 croney capitalist and leftist friends would love to herd us all into poverty and misery. Of course one has to ask does he have real friends or just leftists?

Charm on September 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Bulletchaser on September 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Holy cow! +100! I am with you ALL the way!

Eff ‘free trade’; it’s a deceitful term at best and a scam at worst. Tell me how ‘free’ it’s been for my nation – and no, I don’t give a rat’s patootey how good it’s been for the nations on the other side of the agreement. Frankly I’m SICK of being told I must care!

The biggest accomplishments of ‘free trade’ for the United States have been to destroy domestic industries, encourage businesses to shaft American workers in favor of peasant labor, and sell ourselves into debt for Chinese plasticrap. Screw that!

MelonCollie on September 26, 2012 at 7:48 PM