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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio differs with Romney on China currency, OK with his still undefined tax plan



Mitt Romney has amped up talk about China, vowing tough action against a weak President Obama. The issue could come up in tonight's debate.

But Romney should be pointing fingers, too, at his own party, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

A year ago this month the Senate took up a measure to label China a currency manipulator. Rubio voted against it, along with other Republicans who were lobbied by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "He is against that bill because it sets a trade war into motion with China – a situation that would have detrimental impacts on our economic recovery and job creation in Florida," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said at the time.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson voted for the crackdown. Rubio reiterated his point in a Bloomberg interview today. China has increasingly become a target of both political parties in the U.S.

Another issue likely to come up in tonight's debate is Romney's tax cut plan. On the morning of the last debate, we sat down with Rubio in Denver and asked if Romney needed to provide more specifics:

"In terms of going through the code itself and identifying which exemptions you're going to get rid of, that's going to have to be part of a process. The Congress is going to have to be on board with it, you've got to see what the impacts of it are ...  it' s not clear what some (exemptions) would generate vs. others. But it is do-able."

So why should Americans, especially undecided voters, buy into that? "Because it's the concept itself that what matters," Rubio said. "Obviously, the specifics are important but that's going to work its way through the process.  ... What matters is the concept that we're going to simplify the tax code and lower it enough so that we can create incentive to invest in America."

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:36pm]


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