As Mitt Romney and the GOP forge onward with their “you didn’t build that” attack on President Obama, they’re also acknowledging pushback from Democrats outraged that the line has been taken out of context.
Obama, they insist, should be happy that Republicans selectively edited his speech, because the full context of the president’s remarks on business and government is actually worse.
Romney made this case himself on CNBC Monday night.
“The context is worse than the quote,” Romney said in an exchange with Larry Kudlow. “The context, he says, ‘you know, you think you’ve been successful because you’re smart, but he says a lot of people are smart. You think you’ve been successful because you work hard, a lot of people work hard.’”
Romney returned to the central line of attack — the out-of-context quote that has become a centerpiece of his campaign: that Obama is essentially anti-individual achievement.
This is an ideology which says hey, we’re all the same here, we ought to take from all and give to one another and that achievement, individual initiative and risk-taking and success are not to be rewarded as they have in the past. It’s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy. We have always been a nation that has celebrated success of various kinds.
Here’s video, clipped by Team Romney:
Media fact-checkers and Democrats have piled on Romney and Republicans for using the Obama quote in a misleading way. In a recent speech, Romney actually agreed with the larger point Obama was making.
But Romney and the RNC have doubled down on the attack as a whole, highlighting small business owners in press releases and conference calls who defend themselves against an idea Obama never really espoused.
For its part, Team Obama has stepped up its defense against the “you didn’t build that” attack, releasing two web videos in 24 hours and a third clip of Obama calling out Romney for the attacks at a California fundraiser.
Romney, Obama said, is “knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses.”
“In politics we all tolerate a certain amount of spin,” Obama said. “I understand these are the games that get played in political campaigns, although when folks just omit entire sentences of what you said they start kind of splicing and dicing, you may have gone a little over the edge there.”