After days of relative inertness the Romney campaign is pushing back on the Obama team accusation that Bain Capital outsourced jobs overseas, a charge stemming from the Post story that is being widely criticized by conservative outlets for confusing outsourcing with companies that expanded overseas or purchased other firms with international operations. The campaign insists that the story incorrectly asserted that Bain transferred U.S. jobs overseas, and it is demanding a retraction.

In the meantime it is pointing to a report in the Washington Free Beacon that the “Obama campaign spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian telemarketing company called Pacific East between March and June, a Washington Free Beacon study of federal election filings shows. Pacific East is not the only overseas telemarketing firm raking in cash from the president’s reelection campaign. Obama paid a call center in Manila, Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services between the start of the campaign and March.”

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote about the Obama administration’s job outsourcing in January. He explained then:

Ironically, in his State of the Union Address . . . President Obama railed against “outsourcing.” That was funny, because he has spent billions of tax dollars on subsidizing the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries.
79 percent” of all green-jobs funding in Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package went to foreign companies, with the largest payment going to a bankrupt Australian company. For example, the Obama Administration spent $1.6 billion on Chinese and other foreign wind power. The practical effect of those subsidies was to outsource American jobs. ABC News reported on the subsidies for Chinese wind turbines contained in the stimulus package. . . .
In addition to subsidizing foreign “green” jobs, Obama’s stimulus package also contained poorly-designed provisions that ignited trade wars, wiping out jobs in America’s export sector and aggravating the U.S. trade deficit. The Dodd-Frank financial law passed in 2010 is also expected to shift thousands of jobs from America to foreign countries.

Bader e-mailed Right Turn that the GOP let the outsourcer label “be appropriated by the Democrats to use against Romney, confirming the observation of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) that Republicans are the stupid party.”

Mitt Romney’s team isn’t stupid, but it has been slow on the draw. But perhaps it is perking up. Yesterday both the Republican National Committee and the campaign both went after Vice President Biden for his remarks on outsourcing. An RNC official sent out an e-mail to media that read: “Joe Biden was so worked up about outsourcing today that he cited the closure of a GM plant in Delaware that should actually be open today if Obama’s economic policies actually worked. Unfortunately, for Biden, the facts are clear. That plant should be open today producing Fisker Automotive Cars after receiving hundreds of millions in Obama stimulus dollars. Instead, where are the cars backed by taxpayer dollars made today? Finland. Will they ever be made in the U.S.? Don’t bet on it. What happened to the Fisker workers at the plant that is empty today? Laid off. Obama’s economic policies are working IN FINLAND.”

Today campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul unloads the oppo research with multiple cites to news reports that stimulus money was used to increase jobs overseas (see here) and that President Obama’s policies are sending jobs out of the country. (“Thirty-five big U.S.-based multinational companies added jobs much faster than other U.S. employers in the past two years, but nearly three-fourths of those jobs were overseas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.”)

It is smart to go on offense, albeit belatedly. What is missing, however, is a clear and forceful defense of Romney’s Bain companies, something in plain English with sufficient detail that can compete with the Obama-left-wing media narrative. Romney has a solid story to tell but so far has been oddly passive in nipping the inaccurate attacks in the bud. The campaign shouldn’t have ceded the argument for so long and will now have to scramble to catch up.