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Republicans are having none of President Obama's recent action against China's tariffs on American exports, resorting to what's becoming the party's go-to critique: This is just election year pandering. When Obama filed an action with the World Trade Organization Thursday complaining about tariffs that China has levied on U.S. auto imports, many noted, of course, how well it will play in states where cars are made. Mitt Romney, who regularly declares he'll be tougher on China's trade practices than Obama, didn't exactly applaud the president's move. Well, the campaign's statement did say Romney "supports this effort to confront China at the WTO over its unfair trade practices," but then, as The Washington Post's David Nakamura reports:

"The President has not addressed China's rampant theft of American intellectual property,” said Romney campaign policy director Lanhee Chen. “He has failed to open up access to the Chinese market for American goods and services, and his only response to China’s aggressive subsidies is to propose big American subsidies here at home. He has even refused to take the simple step of labeling China a currency manipulator, after promising to ‘take them to the mat on that issue.”Nor did the RNC which blamed him for waiting until an election year to get tough. 

And that there is how you change the subject when you don't have that much to say about the White House's action of the day.

The RNC followed their candidate's lead with a video emphasizing their belief that the action they have no problem with came too late:

The "waited until an election year" attack is one the Republicans used on Obama when he announced a new policy to cease deportations of young illegal immigrants brought here as children, too. It seems like it's the go-to critique when the opposition either agrees with the White House's actions or doesn't want to alienate the voters who agree with the president's moves.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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