White House rebuts Romney over China suggestion
President Barack Obama meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in February.
May 24th, 2012
06:41 PM ET
11 years ago

White House rebuts Romney over China suggestion

(CNN) - The White House on Thursday criticized a swipe that presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney took at President Barack Obama in a new television advertisement.

In the ad, the Romney campaign said that on his first day in office he would stand "up to China" and demand "they play by the rules."

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Aboard Air Force One Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, "Despite his tough talk now, Gov. Romney wasn't always for enforcing trade laws against China."

"In his book, Gov. Romney attacked the president for standing up for American workers and businesses by enforcing trade law against China, even calling it 'bad for the nation and our workers,'" Carney told reporters traveling with the Obama.

Throughout this presidential campaign, Romney has taken a tough line against China.

"On day one of my administration, I would designate China as a currency manipulator," he said at an October campaign event in Washington State. He went on to accuse the country of "cheating."

Such a designation would allow the U.S. to more directly confront China over actions that have cheapened their exports, undercut the prices of American goods and produce economic growth rates several times that of the U.S.

Carney said Thursday that the Obama administration has "consistently raise[d] with and presse[d] the Chinese on the issue of the valuation of their currency."

"The fact that Gov. Romney is criticizing the president from one side despite having occupied the other side of the issue I suppose is not very surprising," Carney continued.

Romney's criticism of the Obama administration has recently extended to their handling of a Chinese human rights activist, who escaped his house arrest, sought U.S. protection, left a U.S. embassy and then said he again wanted U.S. shelter.

Earlier this month, Romney called the situation "troubling."

"If these reports are true this is a dark day for freedom and it is a day of shame for the Obama administration," he said while campaigning in Virginia.

Romney has also said the US should borrow less from the Chinese, who have purchased significant amounts of American debt.

"I happen to think it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give to another country for humanitarian aid. We ought to get the Chinese to take care of the people," Romney said at a CNN debate in Nevada last fall.

Filed under: China • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Trade
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    This from the guy who sent so many jobs to China. Really? Maybe he needs he head checked.

    May 24, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. obverse side

    etch-a-sketch quite applicable, Newt knows, he always knows.

    May 24, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. clephas

    We should never have been borrowing from rivals in the first place. Better to be in debt to the corporates based in our own nation than to our rivals.

    May 24, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. Detroit Auto Worker

    Everytime R'money speaks I get more excited about President Obamas re election bid.

    This guy is the gift that keeps on giving .....

    May 24, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. King

    Romney will give free trade to his rich friends with China, how will the middle class compete with China slave labor wages,

    May 24, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. L. R. Long

    Seriously, this guy will say anything. A candidate without a core will find himself saying whatever it takes to get his audience to think he is just like them. I want a president that's a leader, not a panderer.

    May 24, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Please , not another war!

    Romney is an amateur at foreign policy !

    May 24, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. t3chn0ph0b3

    I can't wait for the GOP to call Romney's 180 degree change in stance on China an "evolution".

    May 24, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Bob

    No one doubts that Romney can shoot from the seat of his pants. However, until he get his countries straight and learns a bit about international politics, economics, history, etc., he could screw things up even worse than Dubya did. There's more to running a country than bankrupting it for the benefit of a few, rich stockholders.

    May 24, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. Mike Morales

    I'm surprised that he would do that. Being that he owned Bain and directed companies to shed jobs and move them to China.

    May 24, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. SS

    Sounds like an order from Trump.

    May 24, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. Paul

    There's one good thing we could learn from either of these two. They can always improve what they should do differently and not repeat the same mistakes that Romney made at Bain and that Obama made in his first year. Tell us Obama and Romney what you will not do wrong again. Tell us we want to hear it from you. Tell us.

    May 25, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. E G30

    Romney will destroy america.

    May 25, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  14. enuff

    Yet this is the guy that had no problem outsourcing American jobs to China for larger profits for Bain. who is he trying to snow? Or is it just a diversion to try confuse his history? kind a "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" strategy?

    May 25, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. julien vergara

    Democrats kept on critizising romney, but never done any good either. Democrats are good in spending, adding more dificit. Why not go for vacation and leave the nature work its way.

    May 25, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Paul

    too bad Romney has no idea what he's talking about

    May 25, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  17. Jr.

    Mitts at it again. And if they dont ? What will bad Mitt do? Hold em down and cut their hair. If this man becomes president i give him 1 1/2 yrs. And America will be in another war. You cant bully big powerhouse nation like China.........GOD help us all !!!!

    May 25, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  18. Pk miller

    We need to get along with china romney amd the gop loves war they do not care who they hurt obama talked to the chinese in mettings to get the man out safely why did the gop want this man out of china so badly

    May 25, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  19. Blindersoff

    Romney is wrong on every political front. Leading the republican party to more shame and embarrassment. LOL!

    May 25, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  20. HCX

    Romney has no idea what he'a talking about. It's scary that this is the best the GOP can offer.

    May 25, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  21. Michael Murphy

    One more time Romney on both side of the issue and still hasn't said any thing worth while, just so he can criticize what Obama is doing is all he is concerned with.

    May 25, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. Terry

    If you are currently working, no matter what job you have, something you work with is made in China. If you work in retail sales or services, China is located on every aisle. If you build cars, boats, ships, buses, trains, and even buildings, China provides product and services that you may or may not be aware of, and frankly, you may not care about. For Mitt Romney to claim anything about China, opens the Bain Capital China Syndrome. So, lets try this Mr. Romney, and every Republican in the US House and Senate, "Where were you between 2000 and 2009 when millions of American jobs were shipped to China?" Forget Apple, try looking at General Electric, HP, Dell, etc., etc. If we are a Global Nation, then we cannot yell foul when discussing China, India, Indonesia, and a slew of other nations. Why not spend billions on American Education and cut back on the Military Industrial Complex? We need brains, not Bains.

    May 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. Bmike

    Sounds like Romney making promises he can't keep. Think he would say and do anything to get elect..not that easy to deal with china..when you owe a country money.....Obama 2012 moving forward...

    May 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. floridamom1

    Funny how Obama, a know nothing intellectual, rarely voting in the Senate, can be elected President without anyone questioning his ability to be President, but along comes Romney and everyone questions his ability? This is blatant hypocrisy. If you aren't willing to use the exact same standards for Obama, then please don't use them on Romney.

    May 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |