Published July 10, 2012
Republicans are turning the tables on the Obama campaign, launching an aggressive effort to cast the president as the "outsourcer in chief" in response to Democrats labeling Mitt Romney an "outsourcing pioneer."
The belated counter-attack comes weeks after President Obama's campaign seized on a Washington Post story examining how Romney's former company Bain Capital invested in firms that provided outsourcing services like call centers.
As it happens, the Republican National Committee on Tuesday pointed to a new Post story -- this one examining Obama's "outsourcing" record -- as the GOP unveiled a website that outlines in fine detail how federal dollars under the Obama administration funded foreign projects.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tuesday for a press conference shortly before Obama arrived to speak at a community college, told Fox News that Republicans are "getting aggressive" with this message.
"We're going to talk about Barack Obama's record," he said.
The new website, Obamanomics Outsourced, includes a map with pop-up details about the administration's foreign-tied investments. It also includes a breakdown of myriad projects funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars, which the RNC says amounts to outsourcing.
"Over his four years in office, Obama promised that he would focus on creating 'jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced,'" the site says. "However, as he racked up trillions in new debt, billions of dollars did go to create jobs that were outsourced or spent overseas. Whether it is electric cars made in Finland or solar panels in Mexico, taxpayers would be astonished to learn that their hard-earned money went abroad for jobs that weren't created in the United States."
The website cites anecdotes of alleged "outsourcing" around the globe, though many of these cases are a bit of a gray area.
The RNC pointed to money that went to Fisker Automotive, which is producing a luxury electric sports car in Finland. FactCheck.org, though, says that while the firm got a $169 million federal loan guarantee, the loan money itself was spent in the U.S.
In Mexico, the new site notes solar firm SunPower is having some solar panels for its stimulus-backed solar facility manufactured at a plant in Mexico. According to FactCheck.org, though, that company will be getting most of its solar panels from a California plant.
Asked about the new RNC effort, White House adviser David Plouffe told ABC News on Tuesday that Obama is focused on "insourcing" jobs and getting rid of tax cuts that reward companies that ship jobs overseas. He accused Romney of wanting to do the opposite.