Vice President Joe Biden offered a full-throated defense of President Obama's trade policies during a campaign stop Monday in Iowa, arguing nothing Mitt Romney has “proposed or has ever done” would end unfair practices by China.
"We're getting lectured by this guy about not being tough on China?" Biden asked incredulously after arguing that Romney was responsible for outsourcing jobs during his tenure at Bain Capital.
"I seldom, if ever, quote the official Chinese government news agency," Biden said to laughter. "Seriously, this is what the Chinese government news agency said, and I quote, 'It's rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China battering politician's wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.' "
The Obama administration filed trade cases Monday against China, arguing the country provides illegal subsidies to auto parts manufacturers that disadvantage U.S. suppliers.
The Romney campaign has said the action seemed like an election-year response to an ad campaign that the Republican challenger launched last week criticizing the president as soft on trade policy.
"President Obama may think that announcing new trade cases less than two months from Election Day will distract from his record, but the American businesses and workers struggling on an uneven playing field know better," Romney said Monday during a speech in Los Angeles. "If I’d known all it took to get him to take action was to run an ad citing his inaction on China’s cheating, I would have run one long ago."
Biden said Romney's outrage is insincere.
"And now he's telling you — my grandfather used to say, 'Joey beware of the converted.' I mean come on, man. And now he's gotten religion, he's standing up to China?"
He hit Romney over his tenure at Bain, referencing a "jobs tour" Romney has pledged to hold during his first 100 days in office.
"With all the outsourcing he's responsible for, it's going to have to be a foreign trip — it's gonna have to be abroad," Biden said.
Biden also attacked Romney for comments he made during an interview last week with ABC News, during which he said "middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less."
Biden dropped the "and less" part of the quote on the campaign trail, telling supporters Romney "said the middle class was $200 to 250,000 dollars."
The vice president then crossed himself.
"Whoa," Biden said. "Don't you all wish you were in the middle class? … He's totally out of touch with the reality of what Americans deal with every day. He does not get it. He does not understand. That's the most charitable characterization I can make."