In Ohio, Romney, Ryan cast Obama as soft on China
October 13th, 2012
04:13 PM ET
2 years ago

In Ohio, Romney, Ryan cast Obama as soft on China

Youngstown, Ohio (CNN) - Republican running mates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan sought to cast the current administration as soft on China on Saturday, blaming Democratic President Barack Obama for skipping another opportunity to label China a currency manipulator.

"Over the past several years, the president's failed to call China a currency manipulator," Romney said at a rally in Portsmouth, Ohio. "He had the occasion on Friday to come out with that official designation. Do you know what they said? We're not going to make any determination until after the election."

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"Let me tell you, on day one of my administration I will label China a currency manipulator, we gotta get those jobs back and get trade to be fair," he continued.

The comments from the Republican candidates come a day after the Treasury Department announced it will hold off publishing a twice-yearly report on foreign exchange, due October 15, that often contains criticism of China's currency policies.

"The administration had their eighth chance to label China a currency manipulator," Ryan said at a separate event nearly 300 miles away from Romney, in Youngstown. "That's eight opportunities to say, 'You know what, play fair with us, trade with us fairly.'"

According to the U.S. Treasury, the report will be released after global finance officials from the G-20 leading economies meet in early November.

"We've lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to one study, because of just this problem. Two million jobs we've lost, according to the International Trade Commission, because of one country, China, taking our intellectual property rights, meaning taking our patents, taking our goods that we make and copying them and selling them. That's not correct. That's not right. That's cheating," Ryan said in his opening remarks at a town hall meeting in this battleground state.

Ryan misstated data from the U.S. International Trade Commission report. The 2011 report does not assign a number of lost jobs to currency manipulation by China but asserts that the tightening of intellectual property rights could lead to the creation of 2 million jobs in the United States.

The presidential campaigns have accused one another of being weak on China and both candidates have included misleading or disputed information in their television ads on the subject.

Speaking in the hard-hit manufacturing area of Ohio's Mahoning Valley, Ryan emphasized the need to increase manufacturing jobs in order to build a stronger middle class.

Nearly 300 miles southwest of Ryan, Romney said currency manipulation means "that American companies that are making these same products, they go out of business if the Chinese products are so much cheaper than the real costs behind them."

Ryan stressed the need to hold China accountable for its artificially undervalued exchange rate, a practice that negatively affects American producers.

"We are going to stop this kind of cheating from occurring," Ryan said at Youngstown State University. "That's a big deal. That takes our jobs. You have to stand up for the American manufacturing system. Giving good speeches, you know, saying the right thing, that sounds good, but getting it done is what matters."

– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • China • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. JMorcan

    Neither Obama nor Romney will resolve the massive trade deficite due to developing nations. We are being buried by a billion repressed Asians all too glad to earn $1/hr, but the only thing of concern to American politicans is corporate profits. The Yuan will be the world's currency within fifteen years, and we will be solidly entrenched in a Third World economy.

    October 13, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Socrates

    China is the new Boogie Man that these two clown are creating to scare people. They are so predictable.

    October 13, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Donkey Party

    Empty words from an empty suit. Romney has sent more jobs to China, or bankrolled them, than any other presidential candidate in history. And that is a FACT, something right-wingers refuse to accept, like any other fact. Nothing can penetrate their delusion.

    October 13, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. Sef

    I guess that the truth hurts

    October 14, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  5. wake up america

    Its amazing how Bush decimated our economy by 2008 after getting a surplus from Clinton and sent 4500 US soldiers to their deaths in Iraq which was the dumbest war in US history. Why in gods name would we want to go back to the same policies that got us here in the first place with Romney the biggest fraud in american politics? And seriously folks do you really want another new war in Iran? WAKE UP AMERICA...

    October 14, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. Jimmy

    they like to talk tough on China
    and say it's going to save American jobs
    .....
    but they sure never speak about the immediate effect it'll have on prices at your local red neck Wal Mart

    October 14, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  7. Larry L

    Romney talks big about Russia and China – yet he keeps all his money offshore. He won't show his tax returns because he was busted for serious tax fraud. His slimy lawyers cut a deal, paid the fine and kept it quiet. That's why McCain said nothing "disqualified" Romney from the job – plea-bargained. He plays by different rules than the 47% he considers trash.

    October 14, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  8. Ramon

    Romney Stop is enough, your bunch of malakism cannot convince anybody,

    October 14, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  9. jon

    Yeah sure – Romney says he will be tough on China. Like he has so far in his dealings with Bain Capital ??
    The people in Ohio were duped by George Bush and lost untold numbers of manufacturing plants and good jobs. Don't let it happen again.

    October 14, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. Craig

    The only time I hate living in the great state of Ohio is election season. Please god let the commercials end!

    October 14, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. Badly-Bent

    Well, as liberal as I am, I have to admit that if it is honestly true it would be a baby step in the right direction?

    October 14, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  12. midwestmatt

    Soft on China? Soft on immigration? Soft on Iran?

    Wait, aren't we talking about Bush's 8 years?

    Sorry, you lost me for a second.

    October 14, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  13. matt

    “SMALLER GOVT. AND FREE MARKETS GOT US INTO THIS MESS”
    ….no Einstein…America went from a 13 colony misfit mob to a world super power using EXACTLY THAT MODEL. Don’t even try that garbage on people who ACTUALLY KNOW our history…..and along those lines, are you going to even remotely suggest 1775-1945 was a SOCIALIST MODEL ???? Get real.

    October 14, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. RCG

    There goes the republicans blaming everybody else. When did we start losing manufacturing jobs? The 80s? Who was in charge?

    October 14, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  15. Patrick Lewis

    This shows the R&R ticket's lack of understanding. Trade wars hurt everyone. Actually it's more cynical than that, they aren't really going to start a trade war, they will just campaign on it, betting that the people of Ohio – yes, this is all about Ohio – are too dumb to understand what is at stake. Ohio isn't that dumb. They know snake oil when they smell it.

    October 14, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  16. barbara proud independent

    Who is really cheating here? Romney speaks tough on China, but still has millions invested in Bain. Bain is -as i write- training Chinese workers (at Senesta, Inc. in Freeport, Illinois) to take over American jobs. (Google the story) Romney will make BIG profits from this deal. He says he has "no control" over this investment since its in a blind trust. If he can't even control his own investments and get them out of China, what will he do with the U.S.??? With all due respect, What's with this guy? "Believe as Mitt says, not as Mitt does." He just assumes Americans are stupid, I guess. Why can't the GOP run a truly decent candidate? I'm bewildered.

    October 14, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  17. RGD

    Google Sensata & Mitt Romney, that's all I have to say. Project much, Mitt?

    October 14, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. glennwharris

    2 each their own. But anyone who votes 4 a repub will get what they deserve. Pubs have made it clear . . . They are 4 the rich and everyone else is not worth a damn. How a 99 %er can embrace them is stunning. There is no . . . Yeti. Gdub glenn

    October 14, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  19. Anonymous

    romney is a liar just because he is trying to cast out to get peoples attention and romney is a biggest LIAR never listen to that man on earth never trutst him romney is more of damage to americaN not worth for romney i was republican support i have found he lied so badly we don't need romney i';m going for obama

    October 14, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  20. Seth

    Cnn shooting themselves in the foot once again. And people wonder why "some" may not want to vote for this inept administration...

    October 14, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  21. mk1

    And Romney's former company Bain Capital is closing a plant in Freeport Illinois and shipping the 170 jobs to China. People, that is what venture capital companies do, they look for small companies to buy, make them profitable if possible and sell them off for a profit, either whole or in parts. These companies have one goal only and that is to make money for their very wealthy investors. They care little for the workers or this country. The most important thing to them is the bottom line. This is VULTURE capitalism at it's best, or worst. They even had the workers train their Chinese counterparts who will do the work in China. Really sick and we want this kind of mindset in the White House? God I hope not.

    October 14, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  22. JASON

    I like it but whats going to prevent romney from flipflopping? Yeah Obama has done nothing about most of his prvious promises

    October 14, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. Tom

    Youngstown folks have been hearing that same line of BS from politicians since the 1970's. The manufacturing base has been rusting away for decades! We have GM in Lordstown, THAT'S IT!! And Ryan believes the bailout of GM, which saved Youngstown, should never have happened! Yet, at the same time, he voted to order more M1 Abrams tanks, at a cost of $3 billion a year, just to look patriotic. The Army said they didn't need more. They have enough of them. M1s are not needed in the current war effort. The Army can't support the maintenance on them. That's why 2,000 of them are sitting in a huge desert parking lot in California.

    At a time when his platform is advocating cutting wasteful programs, how the President should listen to his Generals, he needs to walk the walk. He claims he was against the GM bailout, probably because of the UAW, but had no problem bailing out the defense industry, against the wishes of those who actually do the defense.

    October 14, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  24. wemissmurrow

    Interesting choice of headline for this story. Will CNN be playing at this the rest of the campaign or will there be a new grand 'narrative' next week?

    October 14, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  25. Robyn

    Simply amazing.

    Mr. Romney, who uses what he calls "an age old ruse" loophole to violate the law and be a major investor in China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Youku, the Chinese company that rips off YouTube, as well as numerous other Chinese companies that do tens of Billions of dollars of business with Iran and have a major anti-American agendas; calling someone else soft on China.

    Mr. Romney, please stop giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America.

    October 14, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
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