(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Speaking to a union in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden accused Mitt Romney and Republicans of fostering a business environment that promotes outsourcing. He accused Romney of making his business experience the hallmark of his campaign and even credited him for creating jobs — not at home, but overseas.
“He’s not running on his experience as governor, where he had a couple good ideas like health care and other things he did,” Biden told the Plumbers and Pipefitter Local Union. “He’s running as the chairman of the board and the founder of Bain.”
“I honest to God think it’s totally appropriate to judge whether he was a job creator, and if he did create them, where did he create the jobs?” Biden added. “I have to admit, after really going into detail, that he did create jobs. But they were in Singapore, China, India. They weren’t in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania.”
Biden said those who are willing to generate incentives for companies to outsource jobs are guilty of promoting other countries and “betting on China.” He noted that he and the president aren’t “betting on anybody else. We’re betting on Ohio. We’re betting on the United States of America.”
The vice president’s remarks came shortly after Senate Republicans rejected a Democratic bill that would have eliminated tax breaks for businesses that ship jobs overseas.
“They prevented us from even being able to get a vote on that,” Biden said to boos from the crowd. “So it’s dead. It’s dead. They maintained a tax cut to take your company abroad and refused to give a tax cut to bring your [company] home.”
Biden shifted from criticizing Romney and the GOP for allegedly promoting outsourcing to harping on Romney for opposing the auto bailout. He expressed disbelief that people would consider voting for a candidate who maintained foreign bank accounts.
“Romney said the president is out of touch. Out of touch? A guy who has a Swiss bank account? A guy who has, apparently, millions of bucks invested in the Cayman Islands, and my guy is out of touch?” Biden asked. “Did you ever think you’d see a presidential race where you’re choosing between one guy who has millions of bucks in the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account and another guy who’s invested in America?”
The vice president spoke in Ohio as part of his “Made in Ohio Manufacturing Tour,” highlighting the Obama administration’s work to enhance the industry in the state. Calling the manufacturing industry in Ohio a “renaissance” that boosted the number of jobs created in the state, Biden lauded the advancements the industry has made as it helps the country inch closer to its goal of becoming the “leading manufacturer in the world.”
“Ohio’s coming back! America’s coming back! The middle class is coming back!” Biden said.
Romney’s campaign called the vice president’s speech “misleading” and classified it as an attempt to distract voters from closely examining what it called the president’s failed initiatives.
“Just weeks after admitting the truth about the president’s failed policies, Vice President Biden today tried to cover up for three years of broken promises by the administration and its failure to fix the economy and create jobs,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in a statement. “No misleading campaign speech can hide the truth that President Obama’s policies have not helped the struggling middle class. While this administration puts their faith in government, Mitt Romney puts his faith in the American people and their entrepreneurial spirit.”
The Romney camp has also hit back at the outsourcing claims, saying if anybody is a “pioneer of outsourcing,” it’s President Obama, who the Romney campaign claims diverted hundreds of millions of taxpayer-funded stimulus dollars to companies like Fisker, which developed electric cars in Finland, and Chinese companies to create windmills and solar panels in China.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Daniella Diaz, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Jennifer Rizzo, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News