BURLINGTON, Iowa - Vice President Joe Biden railed against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not standing up to China, saying there is "nothing he has done" to fight against unfair trade practices.
As he hammered Romney on the topic, Biden cited a news organization run by the communist Chinese government to back up his argument.
"Now, what the experts point out, that will create 800,000 jobs. All of them overseas. All of them in China. All of them in Vietnam, and we are being lectured by this guy about getting tough on China. Ladies and gentlemen, it's laughable; it's laughable," Biden said of Romney at an event at the Port of Burlington. "I seldom ever quote Chinese, official Chinese government news agency. Seriously! This is what the Chinese government news agency said, and I quote: 'It's 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.' End quote.
"And now he's got religion. He's standing up to China now," Biden continued. "Ladies and gentlemen, the fact is there's nothing that I can see that Romney has done, that Governor Romney has done, or has proposed to do, that will in any way stand up to unfair trade practices for China, or any other country. Or anything he's done or suggested that would incentivize American corporations to create jobs here in America instead of abroad. I see nothing that he has proposed or has ever done."
Biden was citing a piece from the Xinhua News Agency, which serves as the official news service of the Chinese government.
Earlier today, President Obama announced he would file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China to combat unfair trade practices, specifically accusing China of $1 billion in illegal subsidies for exports of cars and car parts. The vice president lauded the president's efforts to help protect American companies and workers against unfair trade practices.
"Two months ago the president held China accountable for unfair practices that harm the auto industry, ladies and gentlemen, and that's why the president announced today in Ohio that he's launching a new enforcement action against China for providing illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto parts and manufacturing jobs overseas. He's bringing another case! That's action! And folks, I don't have to tell you in the Midwest and here in Iowa. That has real impact in Iowa and Ohio and Michigan and all across this Midwestern part of the United States," Biden said.
Amanda Henneberg, a spokesperson for Romney, responded in a statement, "Vice President Biden continues to recycle tired and false attacks because the Obama campaign can't run on the president's failed record of high unemployment, skyrocketing debt, and lower incomes. For nearly four years, middle-class families have struggled with fewer jobs and fewer opportunities in the Obama economy. And the president's policies toward China have only made things worse - costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. Even members of the president's own party have condemned President Obama's inaction toward China. As president, Mitt Romney will take immediate action to stop China's cheating and protect American jobs here at home."
The vice president also swiped at Romney for his definition of middle income. In a recent interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Romney classified middle income as "$200,000 to $250,000 and less." Biden left out "and less" in his reference of the quote.
"He was asked what the middle class is, and he says he thinks middle class is 200 to 250 thousand dollars," Biden said to laughs from the crowd. "Whoa! Whoa! Don't you all wish you were middle class?"
Biden, who is on a two-day campaign trip in Iowa, encouraged voters to head to the polls starting Sept. 27 to cast their ballots in early voting, saying "Go now! Get engaged."
The vice president will campaign in southeast and central Iowa on his trip. During a stop in Muscatine, Biden said his 2008 presidential bid took him to all 99 counties in the state.
"You know, there's only a few people, including Iowans, who have been to all 99 counties. I'm one of them. All you got to do is run for president and you'll be in all 99 counties," Biden said. "I spent 120 days in Iowa. You saw how effective I am. You know what I mean? But I'm a good vice president."