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U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (L) speak at the same time during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.  REUTERS/Jason Reed
Getting a question about outsourcing toward the end of Tuesday night's debate could not have been comfortable for Mitt Romney, whose own history—and present—of offshoring jobs has drawn increased scrutiny this week with the struggle of Sensata workers to keep their jobs from being sent to China by Bain Capital. But Romney, never one to feel shame over a thing like that, continued his pattern of going on the attack, repeating all his usual ridiculous claims about getting tough on China.

President Barack Obama has made the natural rebuttal to this time and time again, and had in fact made it earlier in the debate, when Romney brought up China prior to being asked about outsourcing:

When he talks about getting tough on China, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China, and is currently investing in countries—in companies that are building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks.

Governor, you’re the last person who is going to get tough on China.

Romney did not let that deter him from returning to the subject, claiming that, "On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs where I believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers." The United States probably should label China a currency manipulator. But the idea that Mitt Romney is going to be the one to do it, especially after his party wouldn't even let a bill taking action against Chinese currency manipulation come to a vote in the House? That's not going to happen. Indeed, as President Obama had already noted in the debate, Romney has opposed much less drastic action against Chinese trade practices:
When I said that we had to make sure that China was not flooding our domestic market with cheap tires, Governor Romney said I was being protectionist, that it wouldn’t be helpful to American workers. Well, in fact, we saved a thousand jobs. And that’s the kind of tough trade actions that are required.
Romney's whole get tough on China stance is a smokescreen for his actual, verified record of sending American jobs there and for the fact that he has no jobs plan, as we saw in the debate when his answer about getting jobs back to the United States was focused wholly on this thing he will not do.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 08:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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