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Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney took a few shots at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, blasting him for his failure to take China “to the mat” on trade issues.

Romney leveled the criticisms during a campaign stop in the swing state of Ohio – where he is attempting to project himself as the GOP nominee-in-waiting rather than a guy who still faces plenty of hurdles as he seeks to capture the Republican presidential nomination.

“He – and we – have been taken to the door mat,” Romney said of the president, mocking a pledge that Obama made in 2008 to “take [China] to the mat.”

Yet while Romney was blasting Obama, he neglected to mention his own “China problem.”

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney provided million of dollars in incentives to a solar panel company called Evergreen that wound up sucking Massachusetts dry – before announcing that it was laying off 800 workers and relocating its operations.

Where is it going? To China, of course.

“Romney, who made his name as a venture capitalist at Bain Capital, invested $2.5 million in Evergreen in 2003 through an obscure state agency called the Renewable Energy Trust,” Massachusetts-based Commonwealth Magazine reported back in April.

The company received millions more under Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who followed Romney into office after the 2006 election. In a 2007 interview on FOX News after leaving office, Romney said he stood behind his state’s efforts to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

“You’re going to see the product of that generate great results for years to come,” he predicted.

Not in this case …

Previously, Romney has faced criticism for accumulating much of his vast personal fortune by profiting from U.S. layoffs. We suspect his decision to dole out millions in taxpayer-funded incentives to a company that’s now bolting America for the greener pastures of China will be received every bit as poorly – although obviously he isn’t exclusively to blame for the fiasco.

Oh … one other point worth noting? The company that Romney chose to visit in Ohio – Screen Machine Industries – took more than $200,000 in federal “stimulus” grants.

Nice vetting, Mitt.

Pic: via Daylife

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