WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden kept the pressure on Mitt Romney’s White House bid Tuesday, lampooning the Republican as an expert at job creation — in rival China and growing economic power India.
President Barack Obama’s re-election team pounced last week on a Washington Post report that former private equity firm Bain Capital was a pioneer of the practice of “outsourcing” US jobs to low-wage economies overseas while Romney was at its helm, and Biden took up the baton at a campaign stop in Iowa.
“You’ve got to give Mitt Romney credit,” Biden told a crowd in the city of Waterloo.
“He’s a job creator — in Singapore, China, India. He’s been very good at creating jobs overseas.”
Biden then quoted the Post article, saying that while the practice was disruptive to members of the US workforce, outsourcing “has made US companies more nimble and profitable.”
“I simply ask you, how’s that nimble-profitable thing working for you all?” Biden asked.
“How’s that nimble and profitable thing working for those eight million Americans who are out of work… just as a consequence of this recession?”
The Obama campaign, contending with stubbornly high national unemployment of 8.2 percent, has sought to undercut Romney’s chief rationale that his experience in the private business sector makes him uniquely qualified to create jobs in the sagging US economic recovery.
Citing documents filed with US regulators, the Post said Bain Capital, the firm Romney founded and headed for 15 years, invested in companies that led in establishing call centers and manufacturing facilities in other countries.
Romney’s camp has sought to knock down the story, including citing news reports that said three out of every four jobs created by the top 35 US-based multinationals in the last two years were overseas, and that the Obama administration sent over $1.5 billion in economic stimulus funds to foreign manufacturers.
“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,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
He “thinks that economic development means sending billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign-owned companies and rewarding donors with money from his failed stimulus program.”
Biden, speaking to several hundred supporters in Iowa, sought to skewer the multimillionaire Romney for being “out of touch” with everyday Americans and having offshore bank accounts.
“Did you ever think the nominee of a major political party running for president would have a Swiss bank account?” he said.