Mitt Romney (R)
Mitt Romney served as the Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney from 2003 to 2007 before leading a failed bid for the presidency in 2008. After earning and undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University, Romney attended Harvard University where he earned his joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration. Romney worked in management consulting at Bain & Company, eventually serving as its CEO. He also co-founded the company’s spin-off investment firm Bain Capital which became highly profitable. Romney failed to defeat incumbent Senator Ted Kennedy for his seat in a 1994 election.
Mitt Romney Pledges to name China a currency manipulator
Romney: Obama Isn't Working, China Stealing Copyrights
Mitt Romney continued his criticism of China again on the campaign trail:
We face another continuing challenge in a rising China. China is attentive to the interests of its government – but it too often disregards the rights of its people. It is selective in the freedoms it allows; and, as with its one-child policy, it can be ruthless in crushing the freedoms it denies. In conducting trade with America, it permits flagrant patent and copyright violations … forestalls American businesses from competing in its market … and manipulates its currency to obtain unfair advantage. It is in our mutual interest for China to be a partner for a stable and secure world, and we welcome its participation in trade. But the cheating must finally be brought to a stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will.
The Washington Post today reported that Mitt Romney’s company, Bain Capital, was one of the pioneers of outsourcing:
During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bain played several roles in helping these outsourcing companies, such as investing venture capital so they could grow and providing management and strategic business advice as they navigated this rapidly developing field.
Over the past two decades, American companies have dramatically expanded their overseas operations and supply networks, especially in Asia, while shrinking their workforces at home. McKinsey Global Institute estimated in 2006 that $18.4 billion in global information technology work and $11.4 billion in business-process services have been moved abroad.
However, Romney has taken a much tougher stance on the campaign trail. His website explicitly pledges to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.
Mitt Romney stopped by Northeastern Pennsylvania to lay out his jobs plan:
“Somehow, what I’ve heard from people who actually create jobs is different from than what I heard from the guy who wants to hang onto his job,” Romney said, referring to Obama.
Romney referred to Weatherly Casting and Machine Co. President Mike Leib as an example of whom Obama should listen to in developing his economic policy.
Leib employs 74 at his Weatherly plant and 48 at an associated company in Hazleton. He recently began manufacturing metal components of pumps used in hydraulic fracturing by the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry.
“If you want to know who can really get this economy going in this country, go and talk to small businesses in your community; talk to people like Mike; talk with the men and women I spoke with this morning,” Romney said. “All kinds of businesses; go and see them, and say, oh, by the way, over the past three and a half years, have the president’s policies made it easier or made it harder for you to want to hire people? I know what they’re going to tell you.”
GOP hopeful Mitt Romney gave his own economic speech, where he called out President Obama for being “Long on words, short on action”:
Romney addressed a crowd of about 100 from a manufacturing plant of Selikop Industries, the type of small-business facility that's become a standard venue for the Republican's campaign stops. He was in Cincinnati, a Republican stronghold in the state near the Kentucky border.
Romney's campaign had billed the appearance as a dueling event to the president's major economic speech at a college gym in Cleveland, in the Democratic northeastern region of Ohio. But what Romney delivered was his standard, 20-minute campaign speech, castigating the president for the economic stimulus, the health care law and for not approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. Romney also criticized the president's policies toward China and said that, if elected, he would label the country as a currency manipulator.
GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has been taking a harsh stance on China recently, going so far as to pledge to name them a currency manipulator on his first day in office. However, as Reuters reports, this harsh stance might not follow through in real policy changes:
Kenneth Lieberthal, who advised the Clinton administration on Asia, said Romney would end up taking a softer approach if he gets into the White House.
"Why walk into office and immediately alienate the folks you are going to be dealing with?" said Lieberthal, who is now director of the John Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution think tank. "You start off by slapping them in the face and then say: 'Let's get to know each other?' It's just not the way the real world works. It may sound great as a campaign slogan ... but it doesn't work as real policy."
GOP candidate Mitt Romney visited a factory in St. Louis, MO today to pitch his economic agenda to voters.
"Sadly, it has become clear that this president simply doesn’t understand or appreciate these fundamental truths of our system. Over the last three and a half years, record numbers of Americans have lost their jobs or just disappeared from the workforce or can only find part time jobs," Romney said. "This is not just a failure of policy; it is a moral failure of tragic proportions. Our government has an absolute moral commitment to help every American help himself, him or herself, and that commitment has been broken."
As the Presidential election shifts into high gear, Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at the role that China’s currency manipulation is playing in the campaign:
The rhetoric on China is escalating as the two candidates appeal to voters hurt by the decline in U.S. manufacturing. They’ll also find that translating tough words into action is harder than buying commercial time. Obama hasn’t carried out many of the tough-on-China policies he promised four years ago. Republicans already are expressing concerns that Romney is locking himself into a too hard-line position.
“Whenever someone goes from campaigning to governing, the realities of engaging China forces moderation,” said Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University in Washington and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Despite the economic difficulties here and the deindustrialization in important swing states, neither party has really gone to the mat once they’re in office.”
As President Obama and Governor Romney work to court voters, manufacturing issues continue to play front and center. A new Reuters story takes a look at blue-collar workers in Ohio who could swing the election:
As of this week, white working-class voters across the Rust Belt leaned toward Romney, with 44 percent of respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll saying they would vote for the Republican if the election were held today, versus 30 percent for Obama. (For purposes of the poll, the Rust Belt includes Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and parts of New York and Pennsylvania.)
In an interview with Mark Halperin of Time magazine, Mitt Romney spoke about how we can create manufacturing jobs:
“My policy on energy is to take advantage of coal, oil, natural gas, as well as our renewables, and nuclear – make America the largest energy producer in the world. I think we can get there, in 10 or 15 years. That will bring back manufacturing of certain high energy intensive industries. It’ll bring back jobs. It’ll create a surprising economic revitalization of this country.”
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s first national ad of the campaign season is up today. In the 30-second spot, Romney highlights his priorities on Day 1 of his administration. However, the ad does not mention his plans to name China a currency manipulator.
Fortunately, at an event this morning, Romney reiterated his pledge to "have a recognition that China has been manipulating its currency." On day 1 of his administration.
GOP Presidential Mitt Romney made a campaign stop Charlotte, NC on Friday. He spoke at the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, a manufacturer that has not laid off an employee for over 30 years. In addition to his normal stump speech, Romney promised that he would “[clamp] down on cheaters like China when they take away American jobs” and told the crowd that “We're on the verge of a manufacturing resurgence in this country”.
Read the full story here.
Mitt Romney was in Lansing, MI this week to talk about manufacturing and manufacturing jobs. The Detroit News reported the following:
In a 20-minute speech, the presumptive Republican nominee for president pledged to usher in "a revival of American manufacturing." What's needed is a new direction on energy, trade and labor policy to bring jobs back to America, he said.
"With the right policies and the right leadership, we can see a resurgence in American manufacturing," Romney said.
Son of a former governor and American Motors CEO, this was Romney's first return to his native state since narrowly defeating Rick Santorum in the Feb. 28 Republican primary. Michigan is vital to Obama's re-election in November and he's staked his campaign here on the resurgence of the auto industry that was aided by Obama-backed loans from the U.S. Treasury.
GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stopped by Stamco Industries Co. in Euclid, OH to offer his thoughts on the U.S. industrial sector.
Stamco makes stamped metal for car parts and other industrial applications. Romney used the event to highlight President Obama’s “failed economic policies” and pledged to hold China accountable for their cheating:
Local news reported the following:
"Manufacturing is big part of Ohio, and of course, its history," Romney said. "I happen to believe that going forward over the coming decade, you're going to see a lot of manufacturing come back to America.
"If we finally crack down on China for cheating, if we also take advantage of the extraordinary energy resources we have here, and therefore low-cost energy, we'll be able to compete with people around the world," Romney said. "I think you're going to find Ohio, and particularly states that are right to work states, bringing a lot of manufacturing jobs back."
The April jobs numbers, while still in positive territory, were not what we needed to see. AAM’s Executive Director, Scott Paul, called the numbers “well below the trend of the past two years.”
President Obama took the opportunity to praise the continued growth of manufacturing jobs:
Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot and added 16,000 jobs in April. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 489,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010. To continue the revival in manufacturing jobs and output, the President has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, enhanced training for the workforce, and measures to create manufacturing hubs and encourage the growing trend of insourcing.
Meanwhile, Governor Romney thinks that we can do better:
"Well, we should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month. This is way, way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery. The reason that you’re seeing the unemployment rate go down is because you have more people dropping out of the workforce than you have getting jobs. It’s a terrible and very disappointing report this morning. Clearly the American people are wondering why this recovery isn’t happening faster, why it’s taking years and years for the recovery to occur and we seem to be slowing down, not speeding up. This is not progress; this is very, very disappointing and a lot of American people are having very hard times and this is not good news this morning.”
Mitt Romney has been fighting against his reputation as a job outsourcer, and trying to portray his business record as that of a job creator. However, ThinkProgress has recently found out that commemorative pins from the Romney-run 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics were made in China.
The pins, which were designed in the aftermath of 9/11, featured the Olympic logo and “We Stand United” against a background of the American flag. Not the best way to show that you know how to create American jobs.
Mitt Romney has been taking some flak for his manufacturing positions recently. In a campaign stop in Iowa, Vice President Biden ripped into the GOP presidential contender for his history of outsourcing jobs. As the Associated Press reports:
Biden mocked Romney for allowing state contractors to set up call centers in India while he was Massachusetts governor, and said the Bain Capital private equity firm Romney once headed had shipped jobs overseas after acquiring companies in the 1990s.
“Mitt, thanks for the memories,” Biden said with a laugh, referring to a South Carolina photo album factory that closed after Bain Capital bought it.
Meanwhile, Romney got himself in a bit of trouble when he tried to joke with Wisconsin voters about the time his father closed factories in Michigan:
Romney’s story involved the time more than 50 years ago that his father, George, an American Motors executive, shut down a factory in Michigan and moved the work to Wisconsin. “Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan, and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign,” explained Romney, who described a subsequent campaign parade in which the school band marching with his father knew how to play Wisconsin’s fight song, but not Michigan’s.
Hopefully Governor Romney and all the other candidates will continue to push for pro-manufacturing solutions and give our country the national debate we deserve.
At a campaign stop in Chillicothe, OH, Rick Santorum spoke about his plans for the American economy. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports:
During a 40-minute speech before about 300 people at Chillicothe High School, the Republican presidential candidate stuck to economic themes in a region still trying to rebound from the economic downturn.
"What kind of country do you want to hand off to the next generation?" asked Santorum. "We need innovative solutions to liberate the American people."
Meanwhile, Forbes is reporting that as Super Tuesday approaches, the candidates have stepped up their rhetoric, and are pledging to hold China accountable:
“If I’m president of the United States…on Day One, I will declare China a currency manipulator, allowing me to put tariffs on products where they are stealing American jobs unfairly. We can compete when there’s a level playing field and we’d win…. I’m going to insist that China plays by the same rules that everyone in the world plays by.” — Mitt Romney (my humble guess is he can call China chopped liver if he wants, but will do nothing to retaliate other than what Obama has already done. Romney’s the most anti-China of the bunch.)
“I want to beat China. I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business.” — Rick Santorum (quite mild; doesn’t want a trade war like Romney says he wants.)
“I think we’re going to have to find ways to dramatically raise the pain level for the Chinese cheating, both in the hacking side, but also on the stealing and intellectual property side. And I don’t think anybody today has a particularly good strategy for doing that.” –Newt Gingrich (he’s mostly come out against Chinese stealing of intellectual property; a legitimate, non-emotional complaint based on facts.)
“To fight with China now? They are our third best partners and are great customers. Why say that they are the problem? We complain that they’ve messed around with their currency. What have we done with the dollar over the last three years?” — Ron Paul (Doesn’t think China is the cause of our problems.)
Mitt Romney visited a fencing factory in Toledo, OH today. At the plant, he touched upon China’s currency manipulation and the harm it’s done to American workers:
“They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” Romney said. “They also steal our designs and our patents and our brand names and our know-how. . .This president has sat idly by and watched that happen. Oh, he complains. He says he would take them to the mat. But they’ve walked all over him. If I’m president of the United States, that’s gonna end.”
“I want to go to work for the American worker,” Romney said. “I want to make sure that we see good jobs again, rising incomes again. And I don’t want to pass our burdens on to the next generation with bigger and bigger debt and bigger and bigger government. For me, this is all about more jobs, less debt and smaller government — that’s what I know how.”