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New Obama Web ad defends record on jobs, trade with China

President Obama’s campaign responded to Mitt Romney’s attacks on the administration’s China record with a new Web video Saturday, accusing the GOP nominee of misleading voters.

In the three-minute video, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter hits back at a recent Romney ad which accuses the president of allowing manufacturing jobs to go overseas and for not standing up to China’s unfair trade practices.

Cutter says manufacturing job losses occurred in the first months of the new administration, before the president’s “policies took effect, and we were in the depth of a deep, deep recession.”

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“Here’s the full story: Over the last two-and-a-half years we’ve added more than a half million manufacturing jobs. They’re actually the first manufacturing job gains since the 1990s,” says Cutter.

She also attacks Romney’s tax plans, saying that his proposals to give tax breaks to American companies overseas could send 800,000 jobs abroad, to “China, Mexico, and other countries.” 

“His plan encourages companies to create jobs there instead of here at home,” she says, proceeding to hit Romney on his record at private-equity giant Bain Capital and for investing in Chinese companies.

Cutter dismisses Romney’s claims that the administration failed to be an effective advocate against unfair trade practices, accusing Romney of “actually attacking the president for being too tough on China when they were flooding the market with tires.”

“Seriously, when the president stepped up on behalf of American tire workers, saving more than a 1,000 jobs, Romney said it was ‘bad for the nation and our workers,’” she says, citing a passage from Romney’s 2010 book “No Apology.” Romney had criticized the president’s decision early in his administration to side with the United Steelworkers and impose a 35 percent tariff on Chinese tire makers. 

The Romney campaign dismissed the Obama Web ad as a “false and tired attack.” 

“President Obama promised to take China ‘to the mat,’ but instead he has allowed China to treat the United States like a doormat,” said Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg. “Mitt Romney will stand up for American workers, make sure China plays by the rules, protect intellectual property rights, and ensure that more jobs are created here in America.”

The new Obama ad is only the latest in the back-and-forth between the campaigns over Romney’s claims that he would be tougher on China if elected.

On Thursday, Romney’s camp unveiled a new ad airing in Ohio, which said that “under Obama, we’ve lost over half a million manufacturing jobs, and for the first time, China is beating us.” The ad slammed the president for failing to declare China currency manipulator and said he was “failing American workers.”

The Obama campaign responded on Friday with its own new TV ad accusing Romney of profiting from the outsourcing of jobs to China when he was heading Bain.

“Romney’s never stood up to China. All he’s done is send them our jobs,” said the ad’s narrator.  The Obama ad will air in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.”

On Saturday, a fundraising appeal from the Romney campaign urged supporters to help the campaign “win in November so we can put an end to China’s cheating.”

A statement from Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt, however, accused Romney of “hypocrisy” on China.

“As Mitt Romney tries to convince Americans he is a modern day trade warrior, it's clear that his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” said LaBolt. “ Before Mitt Romney started claiming he'd stand up to China and its unfair trade practices, he was profiting off of them.”

This story was updated at 1:50 p.m.

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