How Romney Could Have Won With One Phrase

Created: 2012-11-07 20:57 EST

Category: China > China Focus

Commentary by Matt Gnaizda, NTD China Analyst

Governor Mitt Romney lost the presidential election. But he could have won it with one phrase: "Mr. President, what do you know about forced organ harvesting in China?"

To be precise, I mean that if Romney had raised the issue during his campaign, and done it properly, it would have been a huge advantage. An advantage that could have tipped the balance of the election.

Forced organ harvesting, by the way, is where China's state-run hospitals are killing innocent people for their organs. We first learned about this in 2006, but the most solid evidence has come out only this year.

Let's look at Romney's policy on China. Frankly, most of it was a lot like Obama's. Both railed against US jobs moving to China. Both complained about China's unfair trade practices. Both support the idea of moving US military power to the East. Yes, Romney talked tough on labeling China a currency manipulator, but even many in his own party had their doubts that Romney would really do it.

In the end, Romney neglected the best area to differentiate himself on China policy—and give himself a much-needed foreign policy boost.

Instead or running ads about Jeep, Romney could have put his money where his mouth is on a real issue: human rights.

By bringing up human rights, Romney would have looked strong on China, an challenged a key Obama initiative—the pivot to Asia—and made himself look moral and principled.

Instead, Romney dropped the ball.

Romney would have been smart to challenge Obama on the forced organ harvesting issue, especially during the live debates.

For example, why has Obama's State Department refused to respond to this Dear Colleague Letter from 106 congressmen, asking what our Beijing Embassy knows about forced organ harvesting?

There's no denying that both Romney and Obama knew about this terrible human rights abuse.

Obama knew. This woman personally gave Obama materials about it on October 6—not the mention the Dear Colleague letter to his Secretary of State on October 3.

And Romney knew. Audience members at his rallies had given him materials about it at least four times. And in this video, our own NTD reporter directly raised the issue with a Romney foreign policy advisor.

If Romney had brought up the issue in public, he would have forced Obama's hand. If Obama said he knew nothing, he would have easily been caught in a lie. If he said he did know about it, then the obvious question is, "Why, Mr. President, when innocent people are being killed for their organs, have you done nothing?"

No matter how Obama responded, forced organ harvesting would have been the most embarrassing of issues for him. It could have influenced the media narrative about the campaign. It could have been enough to make some voters switch sides, or make Obama supporters in swing states simply not come out to vote.

And in such a close election, that could have been the difference between President Obama and President Romney.