The Corner

Romney: Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Comment’s Context is Worse than Remark

Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter (of “felon” suggestion fame) is out with a new charge: Mitt Romney is lying about Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line. 

The new Romney TV ad, Cutter claimed, “blatantly twists” what Obama said. “Romney is not telling the truth about what the president said, and is taking the president’s words out of context,” Cutter said in a new Obama campaign web video. “Romney claims the president told entrepreneurs they didn’t build their own businesses. Actually, he didn’t say that.”

“Anyone who’s seen the President’s actual remarks knows the truth,” Cutter added. “The President said that together Americans built the free enterprise system that we all benefit from.” 

In an interview with Larry Kudlow that aired last night, Romney brushed off the idea that he was taking the comment out of context. “I found the speech even more disconcerting than just that particular line,” Romney said. “The context is worse than the quote.”

“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,” Romney added. “You think you’ve been successful because you work hard, a lot of people work hard. 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.”

Those who deserved businesses “deserve credit,” Romney commented.

“It was not built for you by government,” he continued. “And by the way, we pay for government. Government doesn’t come free. The people who begin enterprises, the people who work in enterprises, they’re the ones paying for government. So his whole philosophy is an upside-down philosophy that does not comport with the American experience.”

For those curious, Obama’s full speech in which he said “you didn’t build that” can be read here

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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