President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is hitting back — hard — today against Mitt Romney’s ‘You didn’t build that’ attacks, launching a new television advertisement that features the President debunking the criticisms.
It is the latest sign that the Obama campaign has been rattled by the Republican assault over his recent remarks about business and government, comments that the President claims were taken out of context.
“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context — they’re flat out wrong,” Obama says, addressing the camera. “Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run. And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has, by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology.”
Watch the ad below:
That Obama himself addresses the Republican attacks indicates that his campaign is concerned that the claims might be resonating. But when asked by reporters on Air Force One today about those fears, campaign press secretary Jen Psaki demurred:
“I think it’s more that when you have a period of time where our opponent, Mitt Romney, and his surrogates have tweaked and taken apart to such a degree the President’s remarks on an issue he’s spoken about many, many times, and Mitt Romney has made similar points, it was important to us to ensure that people knew where the President was coming from, how much he supports entrepreneurs and small business owners, and how their records contrast,” Psaki said, according to a White House transcript.
The ad, which will air in several key swing states, is the second Obama spot in as many days in which the candidate addresses voters directly, indicating that the President’s campaign is shifting away from its negative strategy and putting Obama back in the spotlight with a positive message.
“I think the President is a pretty effective communicator and an effective advocate for his policies,” Psaki said.
The Romney campaign hit back immediately this afternoon:
“It’s clear what President Obama believes because he told us: ‘If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,'” Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. “He said it, and he meant it.”
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