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A Gaffe Or Glimpse Of The Real Mitt? Romney Stands By 47 Percent Remark

NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, MOTHER JONES (US), FINANCIAL TIMES (UK)

Mitt Romney's campaign team hastily scrambled together a press conference late Monday night to respond to a leaked video, in which the Republican candidate labels 47% of Americans as "people who pay no income tax" and are "dependent upon government."

Romney said he stands by the comments made in the video, verifying the authenticity, although he admits they "were not elegantly stated" and that he was "speaking off the cuff."

The secretly filmed footage of Romney, speaking at a closed-door fundraising dinner earlier this year, was first released on Monday by liberal magazine Mother Jones.

In the video, Romney speaks of the 47% of Americans who he believes will vote for Obama in November "no matter what." Answering a question on taxes, he remarked that Republican policies do not connect with this section of the electorate: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The New York Times reported that the White House was quick to condemn the remarks, citing President Obama as saying Romney had "disdainfully written off half the nation."

The video's release was yet another blow for Romney's presidential campaign, after a summer marked by political blunders, prompting the Washington Post to label the affair "Mitt Romney's darkest hour."

Mitt Romney, the guy who pays no taxes on millions of dollars thinks you're a welfare freeloader. God Bless 47% of America! #RomneyEncore

— Chris Rock (@chrisrockoz) September 18, 2012

Of course, Romney insulting half the electorate might not do any damage - everybody will think he's a talking about somebody else.

— Tom Phillips (@flashboy) September 18, 2012

If Romney is such a business genius, why is it every time he says a number, he gets it wrong?

— GailSimone (@GailSimone) September 18, 2012

Edward Luce, writing in the Financial Times, similarly observed that there might have been one too many gaffes for Romney to appeal to voters: "If the 2012 election were an Aaron Sorkin drama, the producer would be accused of caricaturing the plutocrat in the race...There are now fewer than fifty old-fashioned 24-hour news cycles before polling day, which is vanishingly few for Mr. Romney to retrieve his fraying public persona."

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Economy

Globalization Takes A New Turn, Away From China

China is still a manufacturing juggernaut and a growing power, but companies are looking for alternatives as Chinese labor costs continue to rise — as do geopolitical tensions with Beijing.

Photo of a woman working at a motorbike factory in China's Yunnan Province.

A woman works at a motorbike factory in China's Yunnan Province.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — What were the representatives of dozens of large American companies doing in Vietnam these past few days?

A few days earlier, a delegation of foreign company chiefs currently based in China were being welcomed by business and government leaders in Mexico.

Then there was Foxconn, Apple's Taiwanese subcontractor, which signed an investment deal in the Indian state of Telangana, enabling the creation of 100,000 jobs. You read that right: 100,000 jobs.

What these three examples have in common is the frantic search for production sites — other than China!

For the past quarter century, China has borne the crown of the "world's factory," manufacturing the parts and products that the rest of the planet needs. Billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba.com platform is based on this principle: if you are a manufacturer and you are looking for cheap ball bearings, or if you are looking for the cheapest way to produce socks or computers, Alibaba will provide you with a solution among the jungle of factories in Shenzhen or Dongguan, in southern China.

All of this is still not over, but the ebb is well underway.

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