Romney: Libya deaths a ‘tragic reminder’ of need for US leadership

GOP nominee Mitt Romney said Saturday that the deaths of four American diplomats in Libya was a “tragic reminder” that the world needed “strong leadership” from Washington and focused on the Obama administration’s relations with China to accuse the president of falling short on that score.

“The attacks on our diplomatic outposts are, of course, a tragic reminder that the world remains a dangerous place, and that America’s leadership is needed,” said the GOP nominee in his weekly podcast. “And for America to be able to provide strong leadership in the world, we have to have a strong economy here at home.”

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Romney focused on President Obama’s China policy, saying the administration had driven jobs overseas and failed to stop Beijing from engaging in unfair trade practices, further weakening the American economy and the nation’s standing in the world.

“In the global battle for jobs – that is where companies decide to go if they are going to be welcomed to create jobs – President Obama has been driving jobs overseas,” Romney said. “And the proof, of course, is China.”

“In 2008, Candidate Obama promised to take China ‘to the mat.’  But since then, he’s let China run all over us,” he continued.

Romney said China’s “currency manipulation” and “theft of America’s intellectual property” had cost millions of jobs.

“President Obama has failed to protect those rights,” said Romney. “It’s bad enough that he won’t stand up for companies and workers that are cheated by China.  What’s even worse is that his policies are making America less competitive.”

Romney has made U.S.-China relations a key element of his attacks on Obama’s foreign policy and economic record this week, with an ad saying Obama has failed to ensure China acts like a fair partner on trade. 

Democrats have jumped on reports that the Republican candidate invested in Chinese firms when he headed Bain Capital, claiming Romney himself profited from the outsourcing of American jobs.

In his podcast, Romney also accused Obama of “passively allowing us to go over a fiscal cliff” instead of seeking a bipartisan alternative to looming tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect next year which economists say could undermine the recovery.

“Paul Ryan and I will take a different approach,” says Romney. “Our economic plan will strengthen our middle class. It will result in bigger paychecks and 12 million new jobs in my first term. To keep more jobs here in America, we will label China a currency manipulator.”

The podcast concludes by contrasting the future of a young woman just now entering college four years from now under an Obama or a Romney administration, a nod to the “are your better off?” question Republicans have made a centerpiece of their economic messaging.

“If Barack Obama is President, she’ll have fewer job opportunities. And if she’s lucky enough to get a job, she’ll face higher taxes to pay down our nation’s staggering debt,” Romney said. “If I’m elected, that young woman will enter an economy that’s filled with good jobs. She’ll keep more of the money she earns. And she’ll be more confident in her future – and in the future of the country."