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At a fundraiser in Virginia last night, Mitt Romney touted his experience running the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002 — a familiar refrain — but also introduced a new rhetorical line about something more specific: lapel pins. He told a story about the “We Stand United” American flag pins he commissioned for the games, which took place just months after the terror attacks on 9/11. Romney touted his creation of the pins as a means to explain how he hopes to bring Americans together:
ROMNEY: And so we created a little pin and we notified people that we’re now going to be selling these pins and the proceeds are going to go [to charity]. … I just remember going downstairs after it was announced — we were in a big, tall skyscraper in Salt Lake City, and it must have been next door I think where they were selling these pins, and there was a line all the way down the street.
Complicating Romney’s patriotic message is the fact that the pins were made in China, according to a website run by the Utah state government’s culture department, as TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro pointed out on Twitter.
Outsourcing has been a latent issue in the campaign, and just yesterday the Obama campaign released an ad hitting Romney for “shipp[ing] American jobs to places like Mexico and China” when he led Bain Capital. Indeed, Bain was outsourcing jobs even while Romney was governor. And his top economic adviser Greg Mankiw (who was recently promoted to chairman of Harvard’s economics department) said that “offshoring” American jobs is a good thing.
Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times notes that a conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) yesterday attacking President Obama for “high unemployment” was hosted by a firm in The Philippines (apparently a subcontractor of Verizon, whom the RNC used).