President Barack Obama — in his most forceful response yet — charged rival Mitt Romney of “knowingly twisting” his comments about American business, claiming they were taken out of context, The Los Angeles Times r
At a campaign stop in Oakland, Calif., Monday evening, Obama claimed Romney had misrepresented remarks the president had made earlier this month when he said about American businesses: “If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own.”
“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.”
Republicans have jumped on the soundbite to prove Obama is anti-business.
“Earlier today Gov. Romney was at it again, knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses,” he said, referring to his opponent's comments at a campaign event in Southern California that morning. “In politics we all tolerate a certain amount of spin. I understand these are the games that get played in political campaigns. But when folks omit entire sentences of what I said — they start splicing and dicing — you may have gone a little over the edge.”
Obama said he believed “with all my heart that it is the drive and the ingenuity of Americans who start businesses that lead to their success.”
“I always have, and I always will,” he argued.
Obama said success comes along with a well-educated workforce, research and development — that government helps fund in some cases — and a healthy middle class to consume goods. He said Romney's attacks show he's not able to turn the economy around.
“For two centuries we’ve made these investments, not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans who understand what it takes to give our people and our businesses the best possible chance at success. But my opponent disagrees. Mr. Romney’s plan is to gut these investments, just so that he can give more tax breaks to millionaires,” Obama said. “He is dead wrong.”
Obama has been scrambling to stave off the growing negative narrative the GOP has launched against him as out of touch with the average small business.
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