White House: Romney outsourcing charges don't 'pass the laugh test'

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said Mitt Romney's outsourcing charge against President Obama "doesn't pass the laugh test."

Republicans have been looking to flip the script on Obama's frequent charges that Romney supported the outsourcing of American jobs, pointing to instances where federal stimulus dollars went to multinational corporations, some of which opened factories overseas.

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But Carney argued that was hardly the same as what occurred at Bain Capital under Romney's tenure.

"I think there is an element of 'I know you are but what am I' to this story," Carney said.

"The Recovery Act helped create new industries in this country," he noted, adding that the money "went to operations in the United States created for American workers here at home."

Team Obama has been hammering Romney on the jobs issue, linking his tenure at Bain Capital to companies that focused on helping other corporations outsource jobs.

While the Romney campaign has vehemently denied that companies Romney invested in moved American jobs overseas, Obama and his top surrogates have repeatedly suggested as much in campaign speeches and advertisements.

At a campaign stop Tuesday in Colorado, Romney blasted the Obama campaign's attacks as "false and misleading."

"But it is interesting that when it comes to outsourcing, that this president has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States," Romney continued. "If there is an outsourcer in chief, it’s the President of the United States, not the guy who’s running to replace him.”

There's some evidence Obama's attacks are working, with polls showing voters increasingly skeptical of Romney's business record.

Acknowledging as much, Republicans looked this week to turn the attack back on Obama, with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus traveling to Iowa on Tuesday before a campaign stop by the president to knock Obama's record on outsourcing.

— This story was updated at 3:21 p.m.