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“How in the world can the president justify the federal government taking power from South Carolina and not allowing South Carolina to compete on a fair and level playing field?” Mr. Romney asked on a recent campaign swing through the state. “It’s simply inexcusable.”

Mr. Graham accused Mr. Obama on Wednesday of being “schizophrenic” about the issue.

While Mr. Obama’s appointees at the NLRB pursue the Boeing case and issue other rulings favorable to labor unions, Mr. Graham noted in the interview, several of Mr. Obama’s top advisers, including White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, sat on Boeing’s board or had other close ties to the company as it was weighing the South Carolina investment.

He said Republicans should seize the opportunity presented by the Boeing battle to lay out a different path to creating jobs and encouraging investment.

“I just can’t think that any elected official would embrace this theory as being a good way to create jobs in America,” he said. “This is the worst possible model you could use to create jobs in the U.S.”

Mr. Graham also said Republicans should push for more thoroughgoing reform of the NLRB to prevent similar cases from arising.

“If I was running for president as a Republican, I not only would say that this is an outrageous action by the unions and NLRB to take this complaint up,” Mr. Graham said, “I would also promise the American people to restructure the NLRB, to deny them the opportunity to relocate a business.”

He said the NLRB had a role in arbitrating legitimate disputes between labor unions and companies, but that the agency should not have the power to dictate to a private company where it can invest its funds for expansion.

“You can say the company broke the law,” he said, “but the remedy is not to shut down the facility.”

He rejected the idea that lawmakers should not be interfering in the case because the NLRB is an independent agency pursuing an administrative action.

“They are about as independent as I am tall,” he said, “which is, not very.”