Mitt Romney’s campaign will bring a deceptively edited clip of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that line” to a much wider audience. The campaign is taking an abridged version of the video and expanding it into a full ad buy.
The amount of the buy for “These Hands” is still unknown. The ad features Obama discussing the importance of transportation, education and other government investments for the private sector, but selected lines are cut up and spliced together to make it appear as if he’s delivering one continuous passage:
If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
The sentences left out in Romney’s edit clearly indicate that Obama was discussing public services, not the businesses themselves. The quotes cut out of the ad are in bold:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
The worker featured in the ad by Romney had a nuanced take on Obama’s remarks on FOX News Thursday that took into account the president’s actual words in a much more honest and direct fashion than the ad’s edited account.
“There’s truth to what he says,” New Hampshire metal plant owner Jack Gilchrist said, according to the Washington Post. Gilchrist said he got a boost from influential public school teachers in his life and from public transportation. “But I think it’s a far stretch to infer that the government is the reason I’m here today or my company’s here.”
Romney has also extolled the benefits of the same institutions Obama described, even as he’s slammed his remarks in the same speeches.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.