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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid