Romney previews ‘You didn’t build that’ attack

at 10:58 AM ET, 07/19/2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign has released a web video that suggests how the former Massachusetts governor could use President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment in ads.

“Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive,” Obama said Friday.“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”

He was talking about the roads, bridges and education system that businesses rely on, not the businesses themselves. But that emphasis on government-funded infrastructure plays into a big-government image that hurts Obama in polls. And Romney is doing his best to exploit it.

The video features Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in New Hampshire. As Obama’s voice plays in the background, Gilchrist gets up and goes to work. The comments on infrastructure are cut out, making the quote seem more damning.

“My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company?” Gilchrist asks, standing next to son in front of a picture of his father. “My son’s hands aren’t building this company? Did somebody else take out the loan on my father’s house to finance the equipment? Did somebody else make payroll every week or figure out where it’s coming from? President Obama, you’re killing us out here.”

The video ends with a clip of Romney saying Obama’s words were “insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America.”

In the original, Obama says,  “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.” Only the last lines appear in the Romney video.

Obama’s campaign responded with a web video adding the context and the comment, “Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected.”

Romney stopped at Gilchrist’s manufacturing plant in January.

It’s a an impressive video that does what Obama and his allies have also done effectively — use regular, working-class people to attack.

Of course, it’s not clear how many people will see it. Web videos rarely have a wide reach. While Obama’s campaign airs negative ad after negative ad, Romney appears to be saving his fire (and money) for later in the game. This video could be a preview of what’s to come.

 
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