Obama Built The Trouble He's In
On Wednesday, Obama's top strategist, David Axelrod, dismissed the entire episode. "I've concluded that it's not all that impactful," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Oh really? So tell us again why Obama, his campaign, the Democratic Party and their pals in the mainstream press are working overtime to defend his "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" remark?
The latest came from DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse, who promised in a memo to "turn the page tomorrow on Mitt Romney's trumped-up, out-of-context fact-checked-to-death BS about the president and small business" and how Obama really and truly is "a consistent advocate for small businesses."
Here's a quick review of what else the campaign has done to tamp down this "unimportant" story:
July 19: A campaign ad charges Romney with launching a "false attack" by directly quoting Obama.
July 20: In an interview with a Tallahassee TV station, Obama tried to explain away his comment: "What I said was together we build roads and we build bridges" and called it all "a bogus issue."
July 23: Another Obama campaign ad says Romney has "deliberately altered the meaning of the president's words."
July 24: A campaign video features deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter saying Romney was "not telling the truth about what the president said."
July 24: Obama tells attendees at a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser that "the one thing I do have no patience for is this argument that somehow what I'm criticizing is success. ... I want to promote success."
July 24: A campaign ad features Obama talking directly into the camera and saying that: "Those ads taking my words about small business out of context, they are flat-out wrong."
The press, not surprisingly, has dutifully fallen in line to protect the president. Typical was a July 25 AP dispatch from Philip Elliott, in which he lifts his lead sentence almost word for word from Obama's July 19 campaign ad. Elliott writes:
"The problem is that's not what the president said."
The ad says: "The only problem? That's not what he said."
Elliott's story then goes on to parrot Obama campaign talking points about how Romney has taken Obama's words "wildly out of context" and how Obama was really only talking about "government's supportive role in providing a stable environment in which businesses can thrive."
Sorry Elliott, but to quote your own lead, that's not what the president said. In fact, the more context you provide, the worse Obama looks.
Obama preceded his "you didn't build that" line, for example, with a sneering dismissal of those who've succeeded in life:
"I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."
The only reason anyone succeeds, Obama then argues, is because the government is there to help them.
And to broaden the context even more, this is the same guy who berated "fat cat" bankers; who declared that "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money"; who claimed that "you don't have some inherent right just to — you know, get a certain amount of profit"; and who's enacted a mountain of government-knows-best regulations.
The real problem Obama faces is that he inadvertently crystallized his socialistic mindset in four very memorable words. No amount of after-the-fact spinning is going to change that.