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Mitt Romney has been a staunch critic of China on the campaign trail for the presidency. But a businessman who hosted a Romney appearance in Clive, Iowa, seems to think that Romney's anti-China rhetoric is all talk and the President Romney wouldn't follow through on the harsh words.
Romney's stance has been unambiguous:
“I’ll clamp down on China that’s been cheating,” Romney said. “They’ve been stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents, our know-how, our brands, they’ve been hacking into our computers. That has got to stop.”
“I will stop it if I’m President of the United States,” Romney said.
Last week, Romney appeared at a campaign event in Clive, Iowa, at a business called Competitive Edge, owned by David Greenspon. Greenspon's company outsources work to China on a significant level. He isn't too worried about a Romney presidency:
“I think the rhetoric of a campaign is different than the actual application,” he said. “[Romney] will sit down and he will get the right people in, he will take the advice of maybe a Huntsman who will say, ‘this is how to handle China.’”
"You need leadership, this is a leader. You can get all those other pieces and put them under that umbrella and you can get all of this right. I don’t think he’s an expert in every area, but I think of all the choices out there, he’s got all the elements to get us to where we need to go because he’s going to go get the team. We don’t have a team yet. We have to build that. So we now have a pretty good coach. And the coach that there are problems, and he knows that people have expectations and he also knows that he can’t do it immediately."
When it comes to actually governing, Greenspon said he expects Romney will take a much softer approach to China at the urging of his supporters in the business community.
“I think he would sit down with China, and he would sit and he would get brought up to speed with every one of the people that are now in our trading delegation — a lot of our companies make money there,” he said. “You’ve just got to find a happy medium.”
“I think the happy medium he’ll put together,” Greenspon continued. “I don’t think any of these words you can weigh by themselves as exclusive sound bites. That’s my understanding of it.”
I asked him if he’d talked to Romney about China. Greenspon said he “talked more about leadership,” but it was clear where he thinks Romney will come down on China once in office.
“I don’t have a complaint, I’ll put my two cents in,” he said of their conversations. “First get me the leadership and then we can figure out what the platform will be and its fine little minutiae.”