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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Biden Rips Romney on Outsourcing, Swiss Bank Account

Remarks are part of larger strategy to use Romney's business background against him.

photo of Rodney Hawkins
June 26, 2012

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Resuming the role of attack dog, Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday laced into Mitt Romney for allegedly outsourcing jobs while at Bain Capital and revived the charge that Romney is out of touch because he once held a Swiss bank account and investments in the Cayman Islands.

Biden's denunciation was part of a larger strategy by the Obama campaign to try to define Romney as "outsourcer-in-chief." It ran attack ads in Virginia and Ohio as well as Iowa -- all key battleground states -- driving home that point. 

"He said his experience as a businessman is what gives him the great understanding of what it takes to bring jobs back to the U.S. of America," Biden said as a crowd of about 400 people cheered. "That's his premise ... but like so many other things the governor talks about, there is a huge disconnect between what he says and what he means and what he has done."

 

The vice president cited a recent Washington Post article reporting that Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas. In excerpted prepared remarks released by the Obama campaign, Biden also said, “Give Mitt Romney credit: He is a job creator. In Singapore. And China. And India.”

In contrast, Biden said, the Obama administration "did all we could do" to end outsourcing, citing policies put in place to prevent companies from relocating abroad.

"We started off by betting on you -- literally, not figuratively, betting on you -- as the most productive workers in the world," Biden said. 

Romney's campaign has heatedly denied that the candidate is to blame for outsourcing, and instead has lodged the accusation against Obama. It cited a 2011 news report in which the medical-device industry contended that it could lose 10 percent of its U.S. workforce because of a tax created by the health care law. It also cited a Wall Street Journal analysis that found around three-quarters of the jobs added by 35 major U.S. multinational companies in the past two years were overseas.

“Vice President Biden today doubled down on the Obama campaign’s same misleading attacks in an effort to distract voters from the president’s disastrous economic record," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "President Obama thinks that economic development means sending billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign-owned companies and rewarding donors with money from his failed stimulus program. President Obama has failed to meet his own standard for lowering unemployment, because he has no idea what it takes to get our economy moving again."

In the excerpted prepared remarks, Biden also took on the Romney campaign's contention that Obama is out of touch, which the Republican says was evident in the president's recent remark that the private sector is "doing fine."

“Romney called the president ‘out of touch’ for encouraging young people – you -- to try to get manufacturing jobs. ‘Out of touch,’'' Biden said. "Out of touch? A prospective president with a Swiss bank account and a retirement account in the Cayman Islands. Anyone here have a Swiss bank account? Did you ever think the nominee of a major political party running for president would have a Swiss bank account? Talk about out of touch.”

Earlier this year, to satisfy the demands of his then-GOP rivals, Romney released a tax return from 2010 and an estimate for 2011. Campaign officials said his holdings included funds based in the Cayman Islands and other overseas entities, including a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010.

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