Romney responded that he supports basic research funding for universities and laboratories, but said that Obama’s policies are far from that.
The GOP nominee criticized Obama for giving failed solar panel maker Solyndra a $535 million federal loan guarantee. The firm went belly up in 2011, and has served as the poster child for what Republicans have called misguided energy and spending policies.
“Investing in Solyndra — this isn’t basic research,” Romney said. He later added, “China is not going to invest in a solar company. If you’re investing in it, they’ll find somebody else’s.”
Obama has long blamed Solyndra’s demise on China driving down prices for its solar firms through subsidies.
Earlier this month, the administration finalized anti-subsidy and anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar firms. For most of the Chinese firms that sell solar cells or panels in the U.S., the tariffs will range between 34 and 47 percent.
— This story was updated at 11:11 p.m.