News / USA

US Campaign Attack Ads Take Aim at China

A political ad accusing U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey of helping send American jobs to China.
A political ad accusing U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey of helping send American jobs to China.

Multimedia

Laurel Bowman

The balance of power in both Houses of the U.S. Congress is at stake in the 2010 midterm elections.  And President Barack Obama's policy agenda lies in wait.  Meantime, a perceived villian has emerged in many political races - China.

In political ads across the nation, Democrats and Republicans alike are bashing their opponents for allegedly helping China, criticizing them for supporting free trade with that country and pushing tax cuts for companies doing business there.

"Job Killer Pat Toomey.  Maybe he ought to run for Senate in China."

The heat is on as November 2 Congressional elections fast approach.  Polls show that voters' most pressing concerns this year are not wars abroad, but a poor economy and lack of jobs at home.

Evan Tracey tracks political advertising for the non-partisan Campaign Media Analysis Group. "China is a good villain because they are perceived as an economy on the come (moving up).  They are perceived in some ways as a threat to United States dominance in economics. It is the notion that China is coming for your job.  Or that China is taking your tax money.  That is really the idea here that candidates are putting forth in these ads," he said.

"Gibbs wants more free trade with China to improve their standard of living.  But what about Ohio?"

Ohio Democrat Zack Space says that his opponent's general support of free trade is sending jobs to China.

"91,000 jobs.  As they say in China, 'Xie Xie (Thanks) Mr. Gibbs!'"

A range of scholars and economists agree that the claims in many of these ads are exaggerated, at best.  Dan Griswold of the CATO Institute research group says globalization is here to stay and that Americans, including politicians, should embrace that.

"We are today a middle class service economy. Eighty percent of Americans work in the service sector and that is the natural trend of development of every industrialized rich country. We need to adjust our policies to that pleasant reality," he said.

Griswold and others say that means being honest with American voters and workers.  They insist low-end manufacturing jobs outsourced to China aren't likely coming back. "I think a politician who tries to blame China for America's economic problems is not being honest with the constituents that he or she wants to represent," he said.

But the facts, says Tracey and other analysts, are in the very fine print. "In politics, context is the job of the other campaign.  In other words, your campaign's goal is to tell your version of the facts so did jobs get shipped to China because of tax breaks?  Yes.  Do stimulus dollars end up in Chinese companies' hands?  Absolutely," he said.

In short, it's up to the American voter to find out what's true and what's truly exaggerated.  And in the weeks ahead, voters have their work cut out for them.  There are hundreds of ads now airing that portray China as the bad guy.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More