By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is seeking to portray Republican Mitt Romney as a proponent of outsourcing, using a speech in Iowa to undercut Romney's appeal to voters as a business executive and job creator.
In Davenport, Iowa, Biden planned to tell employees at an engineering firm Wednesday that Romney had supported tax cuts that support companies that create jobs overseas and vetoed a bill as Massachusetts governor that would have prevented the state from outsourcing contracts to firms overseas.
"We're both talking about tax cuts to manufacturers. The difference is: Our tax cuts go to companies that create jobs over here. Governor Romney's tax cuts go to companies that create jobs overseas," Biden said in excerpts of his speech released by the Obama campaign.
Biden has sought to frame some of the key issues in the 2012 election, holding events in Ohio and Florida in recent weeks to offer rebuttals to Republican presidential challengers. The focus on Romney and outsourcing underscores a key tactic for Obama's campaign: Assailing Romney's work in Massachusetts and as head of Bain Capital to raise doubts about how he would guide an economy that has sought to rebound from a deep recession.
Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, said Biden was "part of an administration that has done more to devastate the middle class than any in modern history," citing high unemployment, plummeting home prices and rising gas prices. "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."
At PCT Engineered Systems in Davenport, Biden planned to cite a rise of more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the past two years and highlight efforts by the Obama administration to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs back to the United States from overseas. "After years of hearing about outsourcing, a new word has come into our vocabulary: insourcing. Jobs that left the United States are coming back," he said.
The vice president was pointing to Romney's decision to veto a bill approved by the Massachusetts legislature in 2004 that would have barred the outsourcing by vendors doing business with the state. "That resulted in millions of dollars flowing to companies running call centers in India," Biden says.
"Mitt Romney has been remarkably consistent — as an individual investor, a businessman, as governor of Massachusetts, and now as a candidate for president," Biden says. "Remarkably consistent. Consistently wrong."
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