NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Rep. Paul Ryan had some tough talk Thursday for President Obama on China, arguing that the White House has been too lenient when it comes to the country’s trade and currency policy.
“President Obama said he’d go to the mat with China,” Ryan (R-Wis.) told a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters at Walsh University, a small Catholic college in North Canton. “Instead, they’re treating him like a doormat. We’re not going to let that happen.”
Ryan made the remark on the morning of his sixth day as GOP vice-presidential nominee, and on the fourth leg of a tour that has taken him to solo events in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio.
Members of both parties have frequently sought to hammer each other on China, particularly in manufacturing states such as Ohio. Ryan’s comments mirror those of running mate Mitt Romney.
But when it comes to taking congressional action on the issue, House GOP leaders have held back. The Senate last year passed a bipartisan measure that would have pressured China to allow its currency to increase in value, but House leadership declined to take up the measure.
“Free trade is a powerful tool for peace and prosperity. But our trading partners need to play by the rules,” Ryan said. He added of Chian: “They steal our intellectual property rights. They block access to their markets. They manipulate their currency.”
Ryan also opened up his speech with a zinger aimed at Joe Biden: “It’s great to be here in North Canton. Or as Joe Biden might say, it’s great to be here in Nevada!”
Among those introducing Ryan were Reps. Bob Gibbs (R) and Jim Renacci (R), in whose 16th Congressional District North Canton sits.
“We need the three R’s – we need Ryan, Romney and Renacci,” Renacci told the crowd to applause.