Dobbs Rants About Product Safety Chief's Comments

     Government actively involved in matters of trade is the path to prosperity in the eyes of CNN’s Lou Dobbs.  And when government bureaucrats fail to act in a way Dobbs sees fit, he pitches a fit.


     Dobbs outburst followed a segment about toys by CNN correspondent Christine Romans on the February 18 “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” Romans interviewed Nancy Nord, chairman of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, but Dobbs wasn’t pleased with her remarks.


     “This – Nord, is she as imbecilic as she appears to be as absolutely insensitive to American consumers, as absolutely lacking the judgment to run a federal agency designed and created to protect the American consumer?” Dobbs asked. “I mean this woman is beyond belief.”


     Nord told CNN correspondent Christine Romans media stories have caused parents to become “very confused.” She said this had nothing to do with free trade.


     “Safety is not a trade issue,” Nord said. “We will be vigilant in making sure that imports that come into this country are safe. Again, safety is not a trade issue.”


     Dobbs, who has made protectionist comments in the past, had no qualms with voicing his opinion on trade issues.


     “Well, where the heck are the Republicans? Only an idiot would think otherwise. When the woman is sitting there saying that it’s because we are overwhelmed with imports and we can’t inspect them, how could it be anything but a trade issue as well? I mean unbelievable,” Dobbs said.


     Dobbs also attacked Nord’s IQ level, suggesting she had an IQ level below “triple-digits.”


     “Well I think anyone with a triple-digit IQ would have a philosophical difference with her,” Dobbs said. “Thank you very much, Christine Romans. And anybody who cares about what the heck they are doing in that job. Christine Romans, thank you, if I didn't say thank you, I want to say thank you again – another failure by our government regulators to protect the consuming public in this country.”


     Dobbs’ style of protectionist rhetoric is potentially hazardous for the American economy even according to liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He warned that “short-term retaliatory measures,” in the wake of product safety concerns won’t fix anything.


     “A growing China creates jobs for our export producers, keeps consumer prices low, expands our choice of goods and services, and increases our access to capital and talent. It also intensifies pressure on China itself to act responsibly on international issues, including security, trade, product safety and climate change,” Bloomberg wrote in the Dec. 11, 2007, Financial Times. “Our serious differences with China in these and other areas must be managed through engagement, not used as excuses to pursue politically expedient – and economically wrong-headed – short-term retaliatory measures.”


     Both Dobbs and Bloomberg have been rumored to be potential third-party presidential candidates for the 2008 election.