(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday will attack GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney over the importance of promoting American manufacturing.
In a speech at PCT Engineered Systems in Davenport, Iowa — the third stop on a debut campaign tour – Biden will claim credit for a resurgence in the manufacturing sector under President Obama and suggest it wouldn’t have happened if Romney was president.
“To President Obama and me, rebuilding our manufacturing sector and rebuilding our country are one and the same,” Biden will say, according to excerpts of his remarks released by the Obama campaign.
“Mitt Romney has been remarkably consistent — as an individual investor, a businessman, as governor of Massachusetts, and now as a candidate for president. Remarkably consistent. Consistently wrong.”
Biden will point to Romney’s record as governor, insisting he vetoed legislative efforts to prevent state government contracts from being outsourced abroad and oversaw significant loss of manufacturing jobs in the state during his tenure.
Iowa, a key general election battleground, has seen more than 15,000 new manufacturing jobs since January 2010. Nationwide, the sector has added more than 430,000 over the same period — the fastest growth rate since the 1990s.
“So look folks, we have a choice in this election,” Biden will say. “Between our philosophy that believes manufacturing is central to our economy, and their philosophy that scoffs at it.”
“Between our philosophy that says there is nothing ‘out of touch’ about fighting for the future of the middle class. And a philosophy that says if the folks at the top do well, that’s good enough.”
Romney has said he wants to revitalize the American manufacturing sector and create “high-paying” manufacturing jobs, in part, by luring companies from overseas with lower corporate tax rates and other incentives.
He has also said he would more aggressively work to level the playing field with China on trade policy to bolster demand for U.S. goods abroad.
“Under President Obama’s leadership, over 800,000 fewer Americans have a job, home prices have plummeted, and gas prices have hit record highs,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email. “With that kind of record, it’s no surprise that the Obama White House has taken to attacking a proven job creator like Mitt Romney.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Doug Criss, CNN
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Kathryn Vasel, CNN