House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) likes things made in America.
The Maryland Democrat is spearheading his party's "Make it in America" agenda, an effort to spur firms to build products in the U.S. rather than overseas. And at a Tuesday night press conference, Hoyer sported a "Make it in America" button on his lapel.
So imagine Hoyer's reaction when he found out that the Apple's popular iPad is made in China.
Before Hoyer's weekly meeting with journalists Wednesday, reporters positioned a menagerie of 27 hand-held tape recorders, microphones and BlackBerries in front of the leader to capture his remarks. One radio reporter wielded a rather well-worn, omnidirectional microphone and deposited it on the long table in Hoyer's conference room.
"You know that microphone went out (of style) in the 1940s," Hoyer observed.
Reporters started chiming in, referencing Hoyer's Make it in America advocacy.
"But it was probably made in America," quipped one reporter.
Someone then pointed out that one of the devices recording Hoyer's words was an iPad. And another reporter asked if iPads were made in America.
"It may have been designed in America. But it was made in China," said a scribe about the iPad.
With that, Hoyer grabbed the iPad and pretended to discard it over his left shoulder, like David Letterman chucks his cue cards.
The gaggle of reporters laughed.
The Hon Hai Precision Industry Company in Henzhen, China, produces the iPad for Apple.