For over three weeks, President Obama has been using an economically illiterate Washington Post article to attack Mitt Romney as a “pioneer in outsourcing jobs” to foreign countries. The Romney campaign may claim that the attacks have been ineffective, but when The Washington Post printed another equally economically illiterate article on Obama’s failure to stop firms from hiring people overseas, the Romney campaign pounced.
The Republican National Committee had the juiciest parts of the article clipped and in reporters’ in-boxes within hours. The Romney campaign created and entire website, ObamanomicsOutsourced, to push the story that Obama spent billions of U.S. tax dollars to create jobs overseas. And Romney himself picked up the argument while campaigning in Colorado yesterday:
By the way, he likes to talk about outsourcing. He’s run some interesting attack ads on me on that topic. You may have seen that and interestingly, an independent, unbiased fact-checking organization looked at his ads and looked at that attack and said it’s false and misleading. But it is interesting that when it comes to outsourcing, that this president has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States. If there is an outsourcer-in-chief, it’s the President of the United States, not the guy who’s running to replace him.
To the extent that Romney can continue to highlight how wasteful and inefficient Obama’s stimulus was, this line of attack will be repeated by other conservatives and may resonate with voters. But Romney should be careful not to attack Obama from the left on trade. It could feed right into Obama’s case for raising taxes on American companies that make money overseas.
Instead, Romney should make the case that Obama ships jobs overseas not just with clumsy green energy investments, but by keeping the U.S. corporate tax rate as the highest rate in the world. His impending Environmental Protection Agency global warming regulations are not helping either. Neither is Obama’s impending tax hike, which is more than double the size of President Clinton’s 1993 tax hike.
According to yesterday’s Washington Post poll, most voters do not know what Romney’s economic plans really are. Turning the outsourcing debate into an American competitiveness debate could solve that problem.
Polls: A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Obama leading Romney 46 percent to 43 percent. Obama’s lead, Quinnipiac notes, is driven by a 2-1 lead among single women.
Voter registration: A Bloomberg News analysis shows that independent voters are growing in numbers at the expense of Democrats in battleground states.
Around the Bigs
The Associated Press, Survey: Small business optimism sinks in June: The economy and uncertain political climate are taking a toll on small business owners’ optimism, making them hesitant to expand. The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small business owners’ sentiment fell 3 points in June to 91.4 after edging lower in May.
The Los Angeles Times, San Bernardino seeks bankruptcy protection: San Bernardino on Tuesday became the third California city in less than a month to seek bankruptcy protection, with officials saying the financial situation had become so dire that it could not cover payroll through the summer.
The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Officials Plan to Block Apple Procurement: San Francisco city officials say they are moving to block purchases of Apple desktops and laptops, by all municipal agencies, after the company removed a green electronics certification from its products.
The Washington Post, Eric Holder vows to aggressively challenge voter ID laws: In a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to aggressively fight state voter ID laws.
The Wall Street Journal, China Lifts Spending As Growth Weakens: China is ramping up state spending to counter its sharpest decline in growth since the financial crisis, further entrenching state-owned companies and dimming the hopes of some that China would use the slowdown to restructure its economy with market-oriented changes.
The Washington Post, Europe looks to pension reforms to ease economic crisis: As countries in Europe and beyond grapple with ballooning deficits and debts, government spending on pensions has become a popular target. The International Monetary Fund has recommended raising retirement ages to ease the financial burden associated with rising life expectancy.
Fox News, Closure of Border Patrol stations across four states triggers alarm: The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.
The Weekly Standard‘s Daniel Halper notes that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has invested in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the State Bank of India.
At The Corner, Yuval Levin dissects Obama HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ recent op-ed defending Obamacare.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., dismantles Obamacare-paid consultant Jonathan Gruber’s claims that Obamacare is good for the economy.
The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent talks to Obama Super PAC pollster Geoff Garin about the Obama strategy behind the Bain attacks.
Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall claims Romney did not leave Bain Capital until at least 2001.
Think Progress defends the Obama tax hike by pointing out that Paris Hilton does not create jobs.