Roemer slams China in front of Chinese Embassy
September 1st, 2011
02:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Roemer slams China in front of Chinese Embassy

Washington (CNN) – Calling China a "bear" that eats American jobs with unfair trade policies as its fork, presidential candidate Buddy Roemer made his jobs speech Thursday in front of a location he called the "bear's den" - the Chinese Embassy.

The former Louisiana governor slammed American politicians and economists for encouraging businesses to move overseas, particularly China, along with their jobs and factories.

"We've become the biggest fools in the world," Roemer said. "Adopting global free trade while other countries impose trade barriers against our products."

Roemer hailed America's industrial age as the country's most sound era in economic policies, citing protective tariffs as the key to keeping manufacturing jobs growing at home.

But after World War II, Roemer said America changed its policies for the worst.

"Worshiping an untested, ivory tower theory of global free trade, our political leaders abandoned the tried-and-true successful policies of tariffs," Roemer said.

As a result, he said, the American tax policies benefit corporations that move operations overseas to places like China, a country known for low wages, minimal child labor laws, poor working conditions and high pollution.

Proponents of free trade argue that it lowers prices of goods and provides economic growth for developing countries.

The former governor blasted President Barack Obama's stimulus package, particularly funding for retraining of American workers.

"There are no jobs. Our jobs are in China," Roemer said. "Is he going to retrain Americans to speak Mandarin?"

But while Roemer praised America's former protective tariff policies, he said he would not support the same practices today, as he claims to not be a "tariff guy."

He, instead, laid out a plan involving tax deductions for companies that employ and buy American workers and products. He also proposed the elimination of foreign tax credits, preventing American corporations from receiving tax breaks for paying taxes in other countries.

"We need a president to get the bear out of the room," Roemer said.

The Chinese Embassy did not respond to requests for comment. Roemer's campaign was granted a permit for the location by the U.S. State Department.

Roemer announced his run for the presidency on July 21. With low name recognition and little money-he only accepts contributions of $100 or less and no PAC money-Roemer has struggled to break into the more competitive pool of GOP candidates.

With his focus on New Hampshire, Roemer is living in the Granite State and said he's seeing a boost in fundraising. Last week, his campaign raised more than $35,600, or as he called it, enough money to pay for a ticket to an Obama fundraiser.

"America desperately needs a crotchety old man like me, who has clear vision of the facts and the wisdom to notice that there's a reason that there's no room to sit safely."

Talking about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the former Louisiana governor said the Lone Star State has done a "great job" under Perry's administration.

"But I've yet to see what his actions were in that. I'd be interested to know what battles he lost," Roemer said. "What more did he try to do and failed to get done?"

Before his tenure as governor, Roemer served four terms as a congressman in the 80s. After leaving public office, Roemer worked as the CEO of Business First Bank.

And while he's experienced, Roemer said that in a world where timing is everything, his political service may have been too long ago.

"My problem is that I'm just not known," Roemer said. "And it's easy to put me aside."

Filed under: 2012 • Buddy Roemer • China • Trade
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Austin

    it amazes me that this guy did not get invited to the gop debate and sarah palin did

    September 1, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Republican Robber Baron

    No no no...this Republican actually is a good guy. He is the only candidate refusing to take Big $ donations and has openly been critical of the corruption in Congress by the lobbyists. He appeared on MSNBC recently and expressed his views about corruption. Too bad he has no chance of winning the nomination and it will be Broken Business as usual in the GOP.

    September 1, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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