In response to a question from the audience during the second presidential debate Tuesday night, Mitt Romney cataloged a number of ways he’d differ from President George W. Bush, including the claim that he’d be tougher on China.
In response, Obama challenged him. “When he talks about getting tough on China, yeah, keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China. And he’s currently investing in companies that are building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks. That’s — governor, you’re the last person who’s going to get tough on China.
Obama also cataloged a number of ways in which he believes Romney would be harder-line than Bush was.
“There are some things where Governor Romney is different from George Bush,” Obama said. “You know, George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher. George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn’t call for self-deportation. George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for planned parenthood. So there are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy. In some ways he’s gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy. I think that’s a mistake.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.