CEDAR RAPIDS — Republicans are hoping to use one of President Barack Obama’s campaign tactics against him.
One of the ongoing criticisms the Obama campaign has made of Republican candidate Mitt Romney is that he was involved in outsourcing American jobs overseas as governor of Massachusetts and as a partner at Bain Capital.
The Republican National Committee took the occasion of Obama’s campaign stop in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday to level the same criticism at the president during a news conference in front of Cedar Hall at Kirkwood Community College.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Ben Lange, a candidate in Iowa’s 1st District House race, laid out evidence that federal stimulus funding was supporting businesses in other countries.
“He promised the stimulus would create millions of shovel-ready jobs,” Priebus said. “Instead, he sent our recovery overseas.”
The RNC created a website to keep track of its concerns about the Obama stimulus, which includes tax credits, loan guarantees and direct funding for overseas companies across 22 nations.
Some of the complaints were in relation to foreign companies whose promises to bring work to America did not turn out as expected. For example, Italian company Brevini Wind received $12.75 million in tax credits to make wind turbine gearboxes in Indiana, but only 70 of its planned 450 employees have been hired, according to the GOP website.
Other incidents involved stimulus-receiving American companies sending their work overseas, such as Fisker Automotive putting its new car assembly lines in Finland after getting $500 million in loan guarantees, the site says.
Most federal stimulus money originates from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which spread more than $800 billion across a variety of public and private projects. Priebus did not know what percentage of that funding has gone to overseas companies based on the RNC’s estimations; he said that was “tough to answer” since loan guarantees and tax breaks were hard to nail down to an exact number.
A statement from the Obama campaign in response pointed out the president’s record in fighting to end tax breaks for companies that outsource work and creating incentives for companies to bring jobs back to America. The campaign also renewed its criticism of Romney’s record in this area.
Romney “vetoed legislation that would have prevented outsourcing and supports a tax policy that would encourage companies to ship American jobs overseas,” the statement said.