Yesterday, we told you we heard that the President was preparing to attack Governor Romney for flip-flopping on China, and that his campaign was working closely with media outlets to air a 2007 video in which the Governor adopts a softer tone towards the PRC than he has on the campaign trail.
Obama needs to attack Romney on China because he is struggling to attract swing-state voters, particularly in Ohio and Pennsylvania, who have seen 600,000 manufacturing jobs vanish on Obama’s watch and sense that China is at fault. Governor Romney’s pledge to label China a currency manipulator goes over well with them. For these voters, it doesn’t help that the President hasn’t followed through on his campaign promise to take China “to the mat.”
As it turns out, Governor Romney was about as soft on China in 2007 as Obama was in 2008. In a meeting with the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star, Obama said of China:
It is indisputable that they steal our intellectual property. It is indisputable that they have manipulated their currency to disadvantage U.S. exporters. It is indisputable that they maintain non-tariff barriers that make it difficult for us to sell in China. It is indisputable that their government subsidizes industries that then deliver low cost goods into the United States. It is indisputable that they’ve got a very shabby record of protecting worker rights. And, so. And it’s indisputable that we haven’t done enough work on safety inspections of goods that are being shipped from China into the United States of America. And their environmental record is a huge problem. Now, I don’t think that China is our enemy. I think China should be a competitor, and we want China to do better economically. There are a lot of a many billion people there. We want them to do well, because the better they do not only is it making the lives of people better, but also they can potentially become more integrated into a world economy.