Romney camp scolds Obama campaign for citing Chinese news agency

Yesterday I noted that the Chinese press had yet to respond to Mitt Romney’s accusation on the campaign trail and in a new ad that Beijing is cheating by manipulating its currency. Today Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, picked up the gauntlet in a stinging English-language editorial:   [I]t is rather ironic that a considerable portion ...

624170_chinaad.jpg
624170_chinaad.jpg

Yesterday I noted that the Chinese press had yet to respond to Mitt Romney's accusation on the campaign trail and in a new ad that Beijing is cheating by manipulating its currency. Today Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, picked up the gauntlet in a stinging English-language editorial:  

[I]t is 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.

Such blaming-China-on-everything remarks are as false as they are foolish, for it has never been a myth that pushing up the value of China's currency would be of little use to boost the chronically slack job market of the world's sole superpower, not to mention to magically turn the poor US economic performance around....

Yesterday I noted that the Chinese press had yet to respond to Mitt Romney’s accusation on the campaign trail and in a new ad that Beijing is cheating by manipulating its currency. Today Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, picked up the gauntlet in a stinging English-language editorial:  

[I]t is 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.

Such blaming-China-on-everything remarks are as false as they are foolish, for it has never been a myth that pushing up the value of China’s currency would be of little use to boost the chronically slack job market of the world’s sole superpower, not to mention to magically turn the poor US economic performance around….

If these mud-slinging tactics were to become US government policies, a trade war would be very likely to break out between the world’s top two economies, which would be catastrophic enough to both sides and the already groaning global economy.

For generations, China-bashing has been a cancer in US electoral politics, seriously plaguing the relations between the two countries.

Chinese news outlets have issued searing rebukes of Romney’s rhetoric several times before in this election. What’s more interesting is the sparring that ensued between Obama and Romney campaign staffers once Xinhua published the editorial.

In tweeting a Reuters article on the op-ed this morning, Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, wrote, "Must read: China’s Xinhua slams Romney for making his money off Chinese companies before running for pres." That prompted a swift response on Twitter from Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "Team Obama promoting ‘news’ from Chinese propaganda agency," he wrote.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has since joined the debate, tweeting that it’s "offensive that the Obama campaign would use the Chinese propaganda paper Xinhua to promote their campaign" and that the "Obama campaign’s actions show they won’t stand up to cheaters/protect US jobs."

"What’s offensive," Cutter shot back, "is that Mitt thinks voters will believe he’ll be tough on China -he’s personally profiting of China as we speak."

How long before we see a new ad attacking Obama for outsourcing his PR to China? 

Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland. Twitter: @UriLF

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