Romney: Obama trying to change 'the nature of America'
July 17th, 2012
03:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney: Obama trying to change 'the nature of America'

Irwin, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Mitt Romney repeatedly seemed to question whether President Barack Obama believed in the American dream in an energetic campaign speech Tuesday, calling his rival's approach to leadership "foreign" and accusing him of trying to change "the nature of America."

"President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success, and I will change that," Romney told more than 1,000 cheering supporters at an oil and gas services company in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after the president told a Virginia audience Friday that all Americans benefit from government investment in infrastructure and education.

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Breaking a hiatus of several days without a public campaign event, Romney attacked his rival for what he called Obama's wish to attack individual success and give government credit for the accomplishments of individual Americans.

"It is changing the nature of America, changing the nature of what Democrats have fought for and Republicans have fought for," Romney said, adding: "celebrating success instead of attacking it and denigrating it makes America strong."

"That's the right course for this country," Romney continued. "His course is extraordinarily foreign."

At a campaign event last week, Obama emphasized the role of government in the success of American industry.

"If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own," Obama told supporters in Roanoke during a rainstorm Friday. "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."

Romney took exception to Obama's words Tuesday.

"It's not like government just provides those to all of us and we say 'oh, thank you government for doing those things,'" Romney said. "We benefit from them and we appreciate the work that they do and the sacrifices that are done by people who work in government. But they did not build this business."

An Obama campaign spokeswoman accused Romney of misrepresenting the president's words.

"As President Obama said the other day, those who start businesses succeed because of their individual initiative – their drive, hard work, and creativity," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith. "But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones – that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation benefits from them. Apparently Mitt Romney disagrees."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • President Obama
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. B

    Republicans have come to realize that their nominee has turned out to be a dud. And, when everything else seems to fail, they gin up the base by playing the race card. So sad.

    July 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. ronb

    Wait a ..... Wait a tic! That's NOT what the president said! Romney needs to fire whoever is only watching fox entertainment and then, giving his campaign advice. I heard the speech. Obama said that if you are a successful business owner, you didn't get there by yourself. others helped you along the way. He also said that you didn't build the roads and systems that help make you a success. HE DID NOT SAY that gov made you a success. Romney is going to get burned for another stupid lie. With all the things the president screws up, romney has to take something he doesn't and then lie about it??? Great candidate. Romney's becoming toxic to romney. Time for an etch-a-sketch moment!

    July 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. w l jones

    Comme tally voo I dont invest my money in America.

    July 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Thomas

    This coming from a guy who likes all trees the same size ,

    No Mitt , your doing your best to destroy and exploit American culture .

    Your Vision is gone , over , done.

    Romney /Bush 2012

    July 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Richard T.

    Has anyone noticed the Willard Mitt Romney looks like J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. You know, the leader in the book "Church of the Sub-Genius"

    It seems to fit so well as being a leader in the GOP.

    July 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. blave

    At 20 years old and not a liberal you have no heart. At 40 years old and still a liberal you have no brain... Bonvoyage obubu. Mitt is going to kick but.

    July 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. rob

    Amen Fro Freedom,

    Best post on here.

    July 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. NotFooledByDistractions

    Ah...more of that he's not like us unAmericanism from the right.

    Their desperation is palpable. The modern day mccarthites are out in full force – lead by their grand poobah...rush limbaugh.

    BTW, romney is seriously parsing what the president actually said – he's blatantly lying....again.

    July 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. CanadaONE

    Does this make Romney MORE America?

    Romney put his money in a Cayman Island account to avoid IRS taxes – doesn't taxes help the American people – if not all Americans should take their money out of American banks and put it in the Cayman Islands – Romney will show you how to do this – just email him

    July 17, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "That's NOT what the president said! "

    So? Didn't you read the rules? GOPers/Teatrolls are allowed to spew the vilest, most unsupportable lies and misrepresentations that they can come up with and the MSM has to repeat and reprint them all over the tv, papers and intertubes without any corrections whatsoever. Isn't that neato? You see, everything they say has to be treated as legitimate and worthy of discussion and debate no matter how easily disproven it is...otherwise there's no controvery to sensationalize. And do you knwo what happens if there's no controversy to sensationalize? That's revenue plummets with the viewer/click numbers going down and the executives at CNN become very sad pandas 🙁

    Sooooooo....back to pretending that whatever comes out of the GOPers/Teatrolls' mouths has potential merit that requires no reference to facts, evidence, historical record and can infact be discussed while ignoring all of that inconvenient stuff!!!!

    July 17, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. NamePn

    Obama wants everyone on govt. assistance. He has been a huge failure and each day shows why he needs to go back to Chicago where he belongs and let hard working people thrive!

    July 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Thomas

    @was for obama, now for romney
    Why is my boy Obama blatantly attacking business owners? saying " i didnt build" my business or things that relate to my business is false. I directly or indirectly cause my business to be succesful or fail. shame on you barack for going anti business during this great recession.

    So what your saying is now Romney is your Boy ? I think it's more like your his Boy !

    July 17, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    Like the old commercial used to ask "Where's the beef" Mittens ?
    Why is it that the Repugs/Teatrolls always resort to their amnesiac version of history, name-calling and outright lies when things start to get tough. Where's the tax returns Willard ???

    July 17, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. the hated one

    I want to see Romney's Birth Certificate !!!!!!

    July 17, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "This somehow equates to government handing it to them?"


    But hey, you have fun with constructing your fantasyland alternate reality echo chamber...if that's what helps you sleep at night. The rest of us, however, are willing to face reality for what it actually is instead of actively trying to rewrite it just so it doesn't scare or anger us for refusing to obey our ideology.

    July 17, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Andrew Brietbart may be gone, but he left with us the ability of the far right to take messages out of context and spin them to make the president sound like he's some type of American hater. Mitt Romney who knows a bit about having words taken out of context should know better and comment on Obama's entire speech and not listen to what FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh tell him what to say.

    July 17, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Ken

    Why do Republicans pledge their allegiance to Grover Norquist instead of to the United Staes of America??
    Is that unamerican or just treasonous? Let's ask GHWBush. He'll tell you!

    July 17, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Dr. Cole

    While Obama was right...the government did give rise to the internet...unlike Gore's claim that he invented the internet. Obama fails to realize that the private sector discovered the airplane, electricity, TV, PC, cameras, light bulbs, recorded sound, batteries, and many other things that the government helped in little to no way shape or form. I am so sick of this president thinking that the government is the answer to everything. The government is meant to "assist" and allow resources to what we do, not "dictate" what and how we do it.

    July 17, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. dan

    This article and these post are unbelievable to me, it is fairly obvious after reading the fat blowhard from New Hampshire's article that this is the "new way" to discredit the President by calling him un-american and hinting that he prefers to run the country in a foreign manner. A quote un quote president and vice president with a history of running companies got us into this mess to begin with. I guess Mitt witt is now going to step in and part the country out and sell all the assets to China and then buy his home country of Mexico and tell everyone what a great person he is. Show us the tax returns mittens.

    July 17, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. wade

    Obama believes you should be ashamed of success! He insist that the GOV not individual hard working innovative Americans built there business. Obama says they owe their success to the GOV! TO THE GOV! Obama is a world class pathological liar and a total fruit cake!

    July 17, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens lied and distorted the records of Newt, Santorum and Paul. Mittens has destroyed the middle class, and also his own party.

    July 17, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Common sense grandma

    Oh, my! Now I get it, finally. One of the candidates is "different" and more in tune with countries other than the United States. Well, of course! it makes sense now. One of the candidates is not like the others. That candidate would be Mitt Romney, spending the Vietnam Nam war years in France, investing his money in off- shore banks, supporting jobs in foreign countries. I certainly hope is base is listening while the rest of us are actually hearing and understanding his heinous message. I plan on voting for an American - Barack Obama.

    July 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. Reggie19

    So it is okay to bash Romney but when the shoe is on the other foot you democrats cannot take it. Obama said something stupid which should offend all Americans but I suppose if you are receiving government handouts you would not understand what it means to work for a living.. Democrats like to give out insultts but when its turned on them they crying out that its unfair. Well take that!!!!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    You freaking hypocrite. We all believe in the American dream. YOU are the one who destroyed for thousands of American workers when you fired them and sent their jobs overseas.
    BTW – you don't want people to get money from the government but when it comes to taxes and you keeping all your ill gotten money (both at home and abroad) then it's okay.
    GET LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. romneycares less

    Same old story line. Give it up. America is tired of your crazy views! The repubteas are looking so crazy as well as M.R. who believes god lives on the planet Kolob. WAKE UP AMERICA.

    July 17, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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