Romney: Biden comments on China policy 'reprehensible'
August 24th, 2011
05:39 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: Biden comments on China policy 'reprehensible'

Keene, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney continued his criticism of Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday, ridiculing him for the "reprehensible and astonishing" remarks he made saying he was "not second guessing" China's one-child policy.

The vice president's office objected to Romney's criticism, saying Biden was actually disagreeing with the policy in his remarks last weekend.


At a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, an audience member asked Romney about Biden's remarks.

"His lack of understanding of brutality of forced sterilizations, of forced abortions is simply unacceptable," Romney said. "It is reprehensible and astonishing, and I can only imagine that the vice president will have to do as he's done so many times in the past - acknowledge that he was wrong and apologize."

Biden was speaking to an audience in Chengdu, China about over-burdened entitlement programs in the U.S. when he said China had similar concerns about providing for its aging population.

"Your policy has been one which I fully understand - I'm not second-guessing - of one child per family," Biden said, in reference to the country's family planning policy that prohibits some couples from having more than one child. "The result being that you're in a position where one wage-earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable."

When asked for clarification on the vice president's comments, his spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff, pointed out that his statement was in opposition to the one-child policy.

"The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China's coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization. The vice president believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience," she said.

The policy has been blamed for prompting an increase in abortions of female children, and is officially enforced by government fines.

- White House Producer Lesa Jansen contributed to this report.


Filed under: China • Joe Biden • Mitt Romney
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rhona

    Either Romney or his team of half-wits seems to have a little problem with their reading comprehension skills. They'll have plenty of time after the 2012 election, because they'll be out of a job.

    August 24, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Too bad Mittens is ignoring what Biden actually said, which was a denunciation of China's one-child policy.

    August 24, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. rob

    Whenever he speacks publicly his staff must have pre-written "Clarifications" ready to go to the media so they can blunt the news stories. I'm sure he doesn't back such a horrific policy but even when read in context it sure wasn't a denounciation. He is an embarrasment to the country and worse, he's next in line to the presidency. That scares the hell out of me.

    August 24, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Ed Texas

    Mitt's criticism of Vice President Joe Biden is much ado about nothing. Instead of critcism for some Chinese social policy why don't you offer America suggestions on how you would get people back to work. Typical Repub – always complaining, blaming otherb but never offering solutions.

    August 24, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. MTATL

    Mitt, seriously come on. Talk about a mountain out of a mole hill. Can’t he come up with any that has substance.....that is just sad.

    August 24, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. AC

    Romney two faced, "You and the rest of the reps support those who are against abortions, even in rape! Your against a woman's choice, you and the rest of the reps are reprehensible" Besides your a Morman, not even a Christian!

    August 24, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    Romney sounds desperate!

    August 24, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    Yeah, because in Romney's world we would all be part of his cult that sees nothing wrong with having sex with minors and forcing them to bear children while at the same time marrying and impregnating as many women as possible. Does that sound Christian to you? Didn't think so. By the way Mitt, they own us, and you may want to watch forcing your misguided, wrongheaded morals on our landlords.

    August 24, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. thomas

    Vice President Joe Biden has a son in the military , Mitt Romney has five sons who have done no military service.

    simply unacceptable and reprehensible !

    What dose Jon Huntsman say regarding china , he knows what he's talking about , not Mitt .

    August 24, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. C. Howe Yulikit

    Romney completely misunderstood the comment or more likely knows very well what was said and is pandering to the left half of the bell curve that make up the Tea Party. Either way, he's a snake.

    August 24, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Julie

    So a president romney would just tell China what to do with their one child policy – rrrriiiiggghhhttt. And then he would wonder why China might call in some notes. Wonder how Romney would feel if China decided to come to this country and tell us to implement a one child policy here. My guess is we would tell China to mind their own business. What a doufas!

    August 24, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. stejo

    Nice going, Mitt. You conveniently left out the rest of the statement, which clearly illustrates how the policy isn't sustainable.

    August 24, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. merm

    Biden is an embarrassment....hope he stays in China until election day...they can have him!

    August 24, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Ken

    Just making more mountains out of mole hills as well as creating more "Faux Righteous Indignation" from a Republican!

    August 24, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Chris Wingo

    ... and Romney's lack of understanding of China and politicking is even more reprehensible. China has good, a lot of bad and often no choice in their policy making. Anyway, they're not our problem right now .... we ARE! All you squabbling demo and repub politicians just shut up and fix our country. If you were my kids, I would lock you in separate rooms without food for a month, and without dinner. Get my point?

    August 24, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. tluv

    Here is why Americans are so hated. Hey Mitt. You aren't running to be the President of China. You are running for President of the United States. If China wants to use population control it's their right. You (and the US) are not the dictators of the world. Quit pressing your own beliefs on another culture and thinking everyone should be like us. That philosophy sounds like one being shouted by our terrorist enemies.

    August 24, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. GOP hates Middle Class

    Mittens - no worries. You're in 2nd and fading fast. Besides, who cares about kids - China has no such restrictions on the number of corporations, see? All good there.

    August 24, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. GG

    Of course, China should follow Romney's lead and encourage its citizens to leave behind 25 new human beings within 2 generations.

    August 24, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    China is the most populus country on the planet. They understood that they would have a problem is there was unregulated population growth. Their real big problem is that of a cultural one because they only one boys and don't accept girl babies if they can swing it. It will bring some chaos later on as there are no women to marry and parents don't have someone to help them in old age.

    Maybe this will help the world in the long term because there are too many people on the planet right now for what we can support. It may also mean that some jobs will come back here. I would also think that it limits the ability to support their growing military.

    August 24, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Heather from Seattle

    Why should either of them be against China's one child limit? They have over a billion people over there! How are you supposed to provide resources for all of those people if you just sit by and watch the population continue to grow and get out of hand?? Maybe that's just me.

    August 24, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Ron

    Be careful. Is this the pro-choice willard talking or the no-choice willard talking? You never really know with this bag.

    August 24, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    Hey Romney. Which position are you running for? To be the President or the Vice President? Neither of which you are qualified for. make up your mind. Attack, attack, attack. That is all Mr. "I will send your kids to be killed while mine campaign for me" knows. I hope Perry walks all over him (and I am NO fan of Perry's) but this guy seriously makes me sick.

    August 24, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Joe in Florida

    Which part of
    "The result being that you're in a position where one wage-earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable."
    doesn't Mitt understand??????????

    August 24, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. vu

    Romney has always been real quick to negatively criticize... Think before u criticize

    August 24, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. MrManhattan

    I thought most republicans supported government intervention into individual's reproductive choices. What right do they have criticizing China for exercising the same power they seek?

    August 24, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
1 2