Romney At Tonight’s Second Presidential Debate: “On Day 1, I Will Label China A Currency Manipulator”

“Chinese commies are commies and China commies commies commies,” Mitt Romney said at tonight’s the second presidential debate.

His actual words were, “China has been a currency manipulator for years and years and years,” but the real point didn’t require such fancy words: China equals bad, non-China equals good.

And boy did Romney hammer the China part of that equation.

It’s a strategy as tried and true as the content is stupid and false. We’ve seen him do this before — back in May, I said Romney sounded a lot like the Chinese Foreign Ministry in his criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of Chen Guangcheng — but with the stakes so high now, what won’t he say in the coming days to snare those last precious votes?

Let’s take a look at what he did say tonight: “Years and years and years.”

And years, Governor? What about in 2000, just 12 years old, when China’s average annual disposable income was a mere $760: was China manipulating its currency then? When, in the span of the Obama administration, the yuan went up 11 percent relative to the dollar, what was that? More currency manipulation, got it. Even now, when China’s per capital GDP is still nearly six times less than the US’s, China is just artificially keeping its currency down cause it really wants to stick it to Americans, right? Because there are just so many Americans who dream about working in an iPhone-assembling factory. We’re really going to do this, Governor? Complain that a country which keeps its tenuous grasp on stability through its manufacturing sector is stealing jobs from… who, exactly?

Oh, what the fuck am I doing. Imaginary-talking to Mitt Romney must be a lot like talking to real Mitt Romney, which is to say: talking to a wall — a wall emblazoned with the image of a bald eagle overlaid on an American flag wreathing around the block letters FREEDOM, LIBERTY, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. Underneath, in black font: Fuck China, Currency Commies. This message has been approved by Mitt Romney.

    8 Responses to “Romney At Tonight’s Second Presidential Debate: “On Day 1, I Will Label China A Currency Manipulator””

    1. Reality

      A number of economists think that China might be devaluing currency. Even Obama administration economics experts and staff have said that this is potentially a problem.

      Whether or not it is really a problem–and the extent of the problem–is debatable.

    2. btravers33

      This one was a bit too partisan…I support neither party, but I will call a spade a spade. China has every incentive to manipulate its currency in order to prop up its export SOEs who are hanging by a thread on razor thin margins. They have been using protracted, one-way intervention in exchange markets for years. This is not unique to China though, as Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan to name a few have done it in the past, but not quite to the extent China has and continues to do it to my knowledge.

      I do agree that the US politicians are hacks who will say anything for votes.

      To be fair though, you may want to also bring up how Obama seems to have learned quite a bit from the CCP in regard to ‘citizen control’ (Utah Data Ctr, Natl Defense Authorization Act, etc.).

      Both parties are sycophants, they are both pretty much equal to pond scum at this point.

    3. David Fieldman

      Romney is a audacious mendacious manipulator.
      Romney’s Stake in Chinese Stocks
      The GOP candidate invested in 10 Chinese companies recently—including ones that embezzled, partnered with Iran, and stole US trade secrets.
      —By James West – Mother Jones
      | Tue Oct. 9, 2012 3:00 AM PDT
      James West
      On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney rips President Obama’s policy on China and talks tough against the rising global power. “We’re going to crack down on China,” he said at a recent event in Ohio. “They’ve stolen our jobs; that’s gotta stop.” But according to Romney’s recent tax returns, between 2008 and 2011 Romney invested more than a half million dollars in the stocks of 10 Chinese companies—including firms that embezzled, partnered with Iran, and stole US intellectual property.

      Through Romney’s individual and family “blind” trusts—managed by his personal lawyer, R. Bradford Malt—the Romneys traded more than 25,000 shares in Chinese firms, including some based in Hong Kong. Some of these investments have previously been reported in the media and raised by the Obama campaign, but others have gone unnoticed. Overall, the stock investments netted the Romneys a profit of more than $90,000 in 2010 and 2011. (Some of the individual investments were losers.) While that sum is a pittance in light of the candidate’s vast personal wealth, it represents a significant amount for ordinary working Americans. Romney has long invested in China, putting millions into Chinese firms back when he ran Bain Capital, as MoJo’s DC bureau chief David Corn first exposed in several reports this summer.

      Romney has said that he has no role in managing his personal investments; one of his aides told the Financial Times recently that Malt works “to make the investments in the blind trust conform to Governor Romney’s positions, and whenever it comes to his attention that there is something inconsistent, he ends the investment.” But back in 1994 Romney himself said that blind trusts don’t absolve an investor of responsibility: “The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, which is to say, you can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules.”

      Here are the investments in 10 Chinese companies revealed in tax returns for the W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust (2010 and 2011) and the Ann and Mitt Romney 1995 Family Trust (2010) and (2011):

      Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
      “Gov. Romney believes China should be labeled a currency manipulator,” his spokeswoman said recently, “and he will move to label them as such on Day One.” Yet the candidate invested in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest bank. Some experts say that China’s central bank still exerts power over ICBC (which was privatized in 2005) to carry out the country’s monetary policy. The Romneys invested in more than $80,000 worth of shares, ending with a loss of just over $5,500.

      China Merchants Holdings International
      The Romneys invested more than $78,000 in this Hong Kong-listed company, China’s largest public port operator. Its parent company, China Merchants Group, is one of the longest-running state-run corporations in China. They sold the shares at a loss of about $6,500.
      China Life Insurance
      About a fifth of Romney’s China profits came from China Life Insurance, the mainland’s largest life insurer. In 2009, according to news reports, China’s National Audit Office found that the firm had embezzled nearly $172 million—overstating sales, improperly settling claims, and lining executives’ pockets with millions of yuan. The following year, the Romneys made more than $20,000 when they sold their shares.

      China National Offshore Oil Corporation
      The Romneys invested nearly $77,000 in China National Offshore Oil Corporation from 2009 to 2011—even as US sanctions called for divestment of companies that do business with Iran’s energy sector, as CNOOC does. The Chinese oil giant’s parent company is helping Iran develop the North Pars natural gas field in a deal estimated to be worth $16 billion. The Romneys sold their shares in CNOOC for a profit of more than $15,000.

      New Oriental Education and Technology
      Campaigning in Virginia recently, Romney said of Chinese companies: “They steal our technology, they hack into our computers—they also steal our know-how, our patents.” But the Romneys also invested in New Oriental, a company infamous for stealing copyrighted exam questions from a US firm. In 2001, New Oriental was sued by Educational Testing Service for stealing and distributing proprietary test questions for admission to US universities. A Chinese court ordered New Oriental to pay over $1 million, a sum reportedly reduced in 2004 by Beijing’s High Court. The Romneys made more than $20,000 from the nearly $60,000 they invested in New Oriental shares.

    4. Boooooooooya

      Yeah, credit to Obama on this one for saying ‘we’re not going to get those jobs back’. Romney seems to be insisting that if it wasn’t for that beastly China, the whole economic dynamic of labour being cheaper in the developing world would stop being a problem and America could make everything.


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