American Proscenium

The Democrats' Bait and Switch

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland told the Democratic convention that Barack Obama was an “economic patriot” and blasted Mitt Romney for being an “outsourcing pioneer.”  That is certainly the theme of the Obama campaign in the industrial Midwest.  Any television left on in Ohio for more than 15 minutes is likely to broadcast an attack on Romney’s record of outsourcing at Bain Capital.  But the actions of Barack Obama and his administration evince no desire to challenge the bipartisan consensus in favor of global free trade, a consensus that made possible all the outsourcing at Bain and elsewhere and that has resulted in an economy where 97 percent of all new jobs are being created in sectors not subject to foreign competition.

We’ve been down this road before.  In 2008, Barack Obama told audiences during the Ohio Democratic primary that he intended to renegotiate NAFTA.  Shortly thereafter, Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee scurried off to Canada to reassure our neighbors to the north that Obama was lying in order to win votes from credulous Ohioans.  (Obama rewarded Goolsbee by naming him chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.)  Indeed, President Obama has signed similar free-trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.  And we learned what Obama really thinks of opposition to free trade when he scorned...

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