It's pretty obvious the "outsourcer-in-chief" attacks have been hurting Romney in the swing states. You'll recall that those attacks by Obama started after a big Washington Post story by Tom Hamburger that detailed Romney's Bain-related outsourcing (offshoring, interjected Andrea Saul, as if that changed everything).
Now today, as you may have read, there's a big...Washington Post story by Tom Hamburger about how Obama has failed to protect American jobs and is himself an outsourcer. Hmmm. Maybe Hamburger just felt fair was fair. Maybe he and/or his bosses were getting leaned on pretty hard by Republicans.
Anyway, the new piece makes some claims against the Obama administration that are undeniably true and fair. It's been terrible, for example, that they haven't expanded the H-1B visa program to keep educated and skilled workers here. And it's clearly the case that Obama is a Clintonseque free trader.
Some other criticisms seem wide of the mark to me:
According to some critics, a galling example of the Obama administration fostering overseas work came as part the 2009 stimulus program. They point to millions of dollars meant to develop a domestic clean-energy industry that instead landed in the hands of foreign businesses. An April 2010 study by the Energy Department found that 60 percent of the 40 largest wind farms then financed by the stimulus relied on foreign manufacturers for their central components, including turbines.
White House officials say foreign components were necessary in 2009 to support the program because there were not enough U.S. manufacturers of the parts. But now U.S. production has expanded as a result of the stimulus and is supplying the components, officials say.
I don't know about the expansion, but I do know a bit about the 2009 dearth of American manufacturers, which was true. Plus there's just lots of international cross-pollination among these firms. So that's a bogus and totally political charge.
Some other measures require Congress' cooperation, and we know how that works. Anyway it's worth noting that the same paper and the same reporter gave the R's some ammo with which to return fire. The Republicans hope to muddy things up here, especially in Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania, and they will now be able to, to some extent. But the attempt at pushback here proves that the Bain attacks are having impact and the Republicans have been in a kind of panic about them. Note they had a web site about all this ready to go on the very day the second Hamburger story appeared.
As TPM notes, the Romney tactic is just to take every charge Obama makes against Romney and turn it around. It's similar to the right-wing projection reflex, which is to say about liberals all the things they secretly know to be true about themselves, because the traits are so unappealing they're bound to hit home.
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