Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) is heading to China despite his intense past criticism of President Obama’s visits to the Communist country.
Pence, who has been touted as a potential presidential candidate, has described his trip to China as a “jobs mission.”
Before becoming governor in 2013, Pence spent more than a decade representing Indiana’s 2nd congressional district. While he was in the House of Representatives, Pence absolutely blasted Obama for visiting China in November 2009 at
The American Spectator’s annual Robert L. Bartley dinner.
“And where was President Obama this week? In China visiting our money and being lectured on monetary policy by communist dictators,” Pence told the crowd. “But seriously, the image is striking: a President of the United States, flying on one more foreign junket, to one more glamorous capital, as our nation continues to struggle in the city and on the farm and unemployment rises to record levels.”
Pence specifically attacked Obama’s trip to China as being emblematic of the wrong approach to creating jobs.
“To get this administration to focus on creating jobs, maybe the president should spend less time at the Great Wall of China and more time at Wal-Mart!”
However, in his statement announcing his mission to China, Pence touted his visit to the nation as a perfect way to create jobs in his state.
“Outside of the United States, China represents the largest economy in the world. Today we see immense potential for the creation of more great jobs for Hoosiers through the strengthening of ties with our Chinese partners,” Pence said. “Our universities and our communities already boast a thriving friendship with China, and we’re looking forward to strengthening this relationship on our jobs mission next month.”
Pence’s itinerary will include stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. It will be his sixth international trade mission as governor. Pence’s office did not respond to a request for comment on what differentiated Pence’s trip from Obama’s past trips.
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