The Obama campaign charges in a new ad airing in three swing states that Mitt Romney’s economic plan is built on outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.
“As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like Mexico and China,” a male narrator says in the ad, running in Iowa, Ohio and Virginia. “As governor, he outsourced state jobs to a call center in India. He’s still pushing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”
“It’s just what you expect from a guy who had a Swiss Bank account,” the narrator concludes, referencing tax returns Romney released in January, which showed he kept about $3 million at the Swiss Bank UBS until 2010.
When Romney was governor of Massachusetts, his administration signed a $160,000-per-month contract with Citigroup to operate an electronic food stamp system that included a consumer call center in India. State Democrats criticized the contract, but some economists and taxpayer watchdogs defended its cost savings.
The Romney administration never put a number on the savings, but around the same time in 2004, the Kansas state senate also decided to outsource a food stamp call center, estimating a domestic center would cost an additional $640,000 per year.
The Romney campaign did not respond directly to any arguments in the Obama ad but called the president’s criticisms distractions.
“With the worst job creation record in modern history and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, President Obama is trying to distract Americans from the real issues with a series of sideshows,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said. “Unable to defend his failed record of 23 million Americans struggling for work, wasteful boondoggles like Solyndra, skyrocketing national debt, and unacceptably high energy prices, President Obama has once again resorted to attacking Mitt Romney. The American people have suffered enough over the last three years and deserve better.”Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.