Washington Post: Biden’s month-long outsourcing attack on Romney ‘misleading, unfair and untrue’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Vice President Joe Biden, who is gearing up to speak Wednesday evening at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., has accused President Barack Obama’s GOP challenger Mitt Romney of outsourcing American jobs during his time at the helm of Bain Capital during virtually every public appearance during the past month. But independent fact checkers have repeatedly debunked that claim.

Transcripts of public event where Biden has appeared since Aug. 13, other than fundraisers and unscheduled impromptu campaign stops, show that he consistently accused Romney during of being an outsourcer of American jobs.

In Durham, N.C. on Aug. 13, Biden said “Romney wants to slash investments in innovation and worker trainer” and “continue the policies that result in the outsourcing of American jobs he perfected at Bain Capital.”

“You’ve all had a piece of that. You’ve had a piece of outsourcing here, a practice The Washington Post said Governor Romney pioneered at Bain. God love him, as my mother would say,” Biden said the next day in Danville, Virginia. “Everybody wants to be a pioneer, but I don’t want to be on that wagon train.”

It’s unclear if Biden used the attack line at a second public event on Aug. 14 — one in Wytheville, Va. — since the Obama administration did not release a transcript.

On Aug. 15 in Blacksburg, Va., Biden said he and Obama want to “give tax breaks to companies that come home, not tax breaks to companies — not tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas. That’s a practice The Washington Post pointed out that Romney’s company, Bain, pioneered: so-called ‘outsourcing.’”

Biden has continued attacking on Romney’s “outsourcing” even though virtually every independent fact-checker has determined that the attack is untrue.

“[A]fter reviewing numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas,” FactCheck.org’s Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely wrote in June.

Farley and Kiely added that the Washington Post article on which Biden bases his attacks on “did not reveal, to use the Obama campaign’s term, that Romney relocated U.S. jobs to foreign countries.”

The Washington Post’s own internal fact-checker Glenn Kessler found the attacks inaccurate as well. “[T]he campaign clearly seized on this report because their interpretation fit with a long-term ‘outsourcing’ attack they have waged against Romney,” Kessler wrote on July 2. “One of their outsourcing ads before the article ran, in fact, earned Four Pinocchios. These new ads would not fare much better; there is little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”

Subsequent fact-checks from FactCheck.org and the Post’s Kessler continued finding the Obama campaigns claims of Romney “outsourcing” to be without any evidence. Kessler even called one such Obama attack “misleading, unfair and untrue.”

Still on Aug. 21 in Minneapolis, Biden said he wished Romney “had been that tough when the companies owned by Bain were exporting thousands of jobs to China.”

That same day in Rochester, Minn., Biden said Romney’s Bain Capital “pioneered in” the practice of “outsourcing.”

In Detroit on aug. 22, Biden said Americans “should be discouraging outsourcing, not encouraging it, like Governor Romney’s done. The Washington Post said Romney and that companies he owned at Bain Capital — quote — ‘pioneered outsourcing.’”

Later in the month, on Aug. 31 in Lordstown, Ohio, Biden claimed that the “Bain way” to handle the auto industry and General Motors would have been to ship jobs overseas.

“What they didn’t say is GM’s adding two shifts. GM, as you — as has been already mentioned, announced a $200 million investment here in Lordstown, and combined with [what] the auto companies have committed across the country, $23 billion have been promised by Ford, Chrysler and General Motors in expansion in the next couple years,” Biden said. “And by the way, what they didn’t tell you — it’s not the Bain way — not in Mexico, not in China, not in Vietnam, but in Lordstown, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland. Made in America. Made in America.”

In York, Penn. on Sept. 2, Biden said America needs “an economy that builds the jobs of the future and makes things the rest of the world buys, not one based on outsourcing, loopholes or risky financial deals.”

Back in Detroit on Sept. 3, the vice president said he and Obama “are determined to replace the word outsourcing for our children’s generation with the word ‘insourcing.’”

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