Leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed Vice President Biden for comments that seemingly condoned China's controversial one-child policy.
The former Massachusetts governor said Biden's "acquiescence to such a policy should shock the conscience of every American."
Biden made his comments Sunday during a question-and-answer session about the U.S. debt and entitlement reform at Sichuan University. His remarks were part of a comparison of the results of the U.S. "baby boom" to the results of China's controversial one-child policy.
"Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family," the vice president said. "The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable."
China is in a similarly unsustainable position to the U.S., Biden said, due to the the government mandate that most families — particularly in urban communities — limit themselves to only one child. The policy was instituted by the Chinese government in order to limit population growth in the world's largest country.
Medicare "is not sustainable without some changes," Biden said of the U.S. "You share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net."
Romney's denouncement joins a chorus of outrage over the comments. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) condemned the remarks in a statement Monday.
“I’m deeply troubled by the comments reportedly made by the Vice President yesterday regarding China’s reprehensible one-child policy, which has resulted in forced sterilizations and coerced abortions and should not be condoned by any American official," Boehner said. "No government on Earth has the authority to place quotas on the value of innocent human life, or to treat life as an economic commodity that can be regulated and taken away on a whim by the state.”
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Biden was either "naïve" or "duplicitous" in his comments.
Biden did say that China's one-child policy solution was "severe." The policy has been linked by human-rights activists to forced abortion, sterilization and gendercide due to the country's preference for male babies.