Sen. Barbara Boxer’s campaign released today a new campaign ad slamming GOP candidate Carly Fiorina for her decision to outsource jobs while she was CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP). “Carly Fiorina. As CEO, she laid off 30,000 workers and shipped jobs to China,” announces the narrator at the ad’s beginning. Saying that Fiorina sent jobs “to Shanghai instead of San Jose, Bangalore instead of Burbank,” and that she “took $100 million for herself,” the ad concludes with the same slogan that a different Boxer TV ad uses: “Carly Fiorina. Outsourcing jobs. Out for herself.”
In a race focused on job creation (California’s unemployment rate is 12.4 percent, the third highest in the nation), Boxer has been emphasizing Fiorina’s outsourcing history for months now, including in the radio debate held earlier this week. Boxer’s not alone in pursuing that strategy: CNN estimates that Democrats have run 26 ads about outsourcing. With the GOP hammering at Democrats over their inability to decrease unemployment, the party is trying to find a message — outside of another stimulus — that will resonate with voters. This week, senate Democrats tried to bring to the floor a bill that would eliminate tax breaks for companies providing jobs overseas and increase tax breaks for businesses sending jobs back to the U.S. Republicans blocked the bill.
Talking to CNN, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman was frank about why Democrats were now focusing on outsourcing. Saying that there was “no question people are angry at Democrats because the economy is bad and we are in charge,” Mellman argued that “People are even more angry about jobs going overseas than they are about the absence of jobs as they look around their communities. So we’re trying to focus that anger.”
Responding to the Boxer ad, Fiorina press secretary Andrea Saul said in a statement that “Barbara Boxer did get one thing right: Carly does understand why jobs go elsewhere, and it’s ‘precisely’ Boxer’s job-killing policies. Since the beginning of last year, Barbara Boxer’s out-of touch policies of outrageous taxes and impossible regulations have helped kill more than 400,000 jobs in California despite her promising the exact opposite.”
The Fiorina campaign also argued that tax policies, not companies, were the primary cause of jobs being outsourced. The campaign additionally pointed out that Boxer has accepted thousands of dollars in funding from companies that have outsourced jobs or laid off workers.