COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is bashing the National Labor Relations Board in a new ad airing in South Carolina the day after the Obama administration circumvented Congress and put three new people on the labor panel.
The White House offered a sharp retort casting Romney as an opponent of protections for workers.
In the ad, Romney accuses President Barack Obama of adopting policies that “affect our economy based not upon what’s right for the American worker but, instead, what’s right for their politics.” He also contends that the board is stacked with “union stooges.”
Obama on Wednesday took advantage of the Senate being in recess to appoint three new labor panel members. Openly defying Senate Republicans, Obama also appointed Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, to head a new Consumer Financial Protection Board. All the appointments bypassed the Senate confirmation process.
Romney, reacting to the appointments Wednesday, accused Obama of displaying “Chicago-style politics at its worst.”
The White House responded sharply Thursday.
“I find it a little rich that on this and on the appointment of Richard Cordray to be the nation’s consumer watchdog that the former governor of Massachusetts decided to take a position in both cases against the security and protection of working and middle-class Americans,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had challenged GOP presidential hopefuls to take positions on the NLRB’s legal action threatening jobs at a Boeing Co. plant in North Charleston. The NLRB charged that the company was building the facility in South Carolina in retaliation over labor contract fights.
In the 30-second ad set to begin airing Thursday, Romney appears to talk from the factory floor with wood and scaffolding in the background. The scene changes to an exterior shot of a Boeing Co. plant, a jet engine and the 787 Dreamliner that Boeing is building in South Carolina and Washington state.
The Boeing issue was resolved last month when Boeing and the Machinists union reached a contract extension and the NLRB dropped its legal action.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., urged Obama to withdraw the appointments and called on House and Senate committees to investigate contacts between the NLRB and Boeing’s Machinists union.
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