Romney: Obama trying to change 'the nature of America'
July 17th, 2012
03:29 PM ET
10 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. rs

    And in truth he is. In Mr. Romney's (and the GOP's) America, the poor will starve; the elderly will live in poverty, and die of preventable illness; there will be no minimum wage; the middle class will vanish; the legions of the poor will grow; the Voting Rights Act will vanish as will the Civil Rights Act. The good news is all the poor and unemployed (those jobs will still ship) can go into the military and fight in Iran.
    With any luck at all, the GOP can end democracy in America!

    July 17, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Bootstomper

    Romney is sounding nervous.

    July 17, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing Jobs-Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    T'he nature of America according to the "gospel" of Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe is GREED, TAX-CHEAT, DRAFT-DODGING, OFF-SHORE ACCOUNTS in SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS, BERMUDA & the CAYMEN ISLAND...TAX-CUTS for the RICH & WALL STREET FAT CATS, OUT-SOURCING OF AMERICAN JOBS to CHINA, INDIA & MEXICO!!!.....and mitt robme's plans...change it to STATUS QUO MORE OF THE SAME!!!

    mitt robme is NOT the SOLUTION....he is THE PROBLEM!!!!!.....REMEMBER THAT, AMERICA!!!!

    July 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Every single dog within a three mile radius started howlilng when I opened this webpage. The dogwhistle is strong with this one. Yes, we know, "this was supposed to be a white people country" and the scary black man you think was born in Kenya took it from you so you need to "take it back." YAWN.

    July 17, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    the "old reliable" GOP claim..."foreign"

    July 17, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    ........for shipping jobs to china, mr. Bain Capital., rapacious private equity man. Stashing money in cayman islands, Swiss. Show ten years taxes.

    July 17, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. cali girl

    oh yeah Robmey, you just want your Fat Cat friends to get richer, and put down the real Americans. But fact is, he doesn't know who they are.
    Wife y poo has to go talk to the women, son has to look at Que cards to talk to the Spanish language Americans, sons go to various oversee US areas to talk.
    All the Robmey can say is "Repeal and Replace". But the problem is the replace part. He has no plans for the economy, healthcare, immigration, womens issues, DREAM act, Lilly Ledbetter and equal pay rights,
    What does Robmey know how to do? Sink money into untraceable offshore accounts and outsource companies but still get kick backs in the form of millions of dollars from those companies.

    July 17, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Romney's Foreign Approach

    Romney likes to say Obama approach is foreign – but he is the one Outsourcing Jobs, Putting his money in Banks out of the United States. He is so detached from reality – maybe its his $10,000 bets, his wife's two Cadillacs. Or his Foreign Approach of not wanting people to review his taxes – how do we know he hasn't broken the laws of this country?

    July 17, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Valentina

    How does it feel to be 'misrepresented' Obama Team? You've been distorting and misrepresenting Romney's record for the last month or so. Now, you pay for what you do to others. Go Romney – YOU are the man!

    July 17, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Kim Jong Obama - Dear leader, Ruler for Life, God Among Men

    "If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
    Yes, it is so. Our Dear leader Kim Jong Obama is the only one that can claim credit for success. Without his kind and benevolent aid, none of is worthy or capable of success. Someday Romney and all like him will learn.

    July 17, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    Enough is enough. These Repubs. who claim that they're More American, but never fight in the wars & do everything they can to not pay taxes are DISGUSTING .

    July 17, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Hap

    It's amazing how in step the republican wing nut media is with Mitt, may even be the party using free air time to set the message for Mittt. Yesterday Rush Limberger spewed this same exact message. It's illegal to do this but that never stopped them before, The federal election commision and the FCC should look into weather these people are coordinating their efforts. They accuse the "main stream media" of bias, but bias is legal, what they do is not!

    July 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. J

    Romney outsourced the production of the 2002 Winter Olympics uniforms to Burma, the leading human rights violater. How did that help the American Dream?

    July 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    calling his rival's approach to leadership "foreign" and accusing him of trying to change "the nature of America."

    Let the racism begin (as predicted) and when that doesn't work, please show us your tax returns so we can toss you and your lies out of our lives once and for all. You lazy SOB.

    July 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |

    And you're trying too avoid answering questions abuot your taxes Willard. Show us your papers!!! You won't change nothing because you won't be elected. No one is against success. What we are against are TAX EVADERS like YOU!!!

    July 17, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Hmmmm...anyone else wondering if all dogwhistles also smell like desperation?

    July 17, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Is he playing the birther card? He sounds like he's singing harmony with Sununu. How low can you go, Mitt? You must be dire straits to play this line of attack.

    Hey Romney supporters. How come he's not talking about the economy? How come he's not telling us which of tax loopholes he would get rid of? How come he's not telling us what cuts he would make to make up for the $500B new debt he would add to the annual the deficit? How come? Because he doesn't care about balancing the budget. All that he really cares about is keeping his own hard earned money for himself, and helping his secret donors do the same.

    July 17, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Jules

    Another sickening statement out of the mouth of someone who does not understand what an everyday American is or what they struggle with. Romney has NO idea of what real America is like. His world evolves around millionaires and billionaires, high price private schools, dancing horses and car elvevators. Do you notice how this man always accuses the president of exactly what people are saying about him? That's because he has no idea what he stands for, he can't say what he will do as president because he will lose for sure then, and he doesn't want to talk about those old bugaboo tax returns. WHERE ARE THE TAX RETURNS, MITT? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

    July 17, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. HenryB

    @sonny chapman. I agree with you but the Democrats are such cowards they don't even defend what they, themselves, have done. If we even started acting like Republicans, perhaps we would see some results. But no cigar, I am afraid.

    July 17, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Kobby

    Mitt Romney: a Lip Sync Patriot with An Air Guitar Foreign Policy.

    July 17, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. rs

    Kim Jong Obama – Dear leader, Ruler for Life, God Among Men-

    You fool! You fell for the single most egregious editing of the President's words on Fox news. He did not say that- the Republican mouth piece created that through editing. I suppose however that doesn't matter people like you (and the GOP) live reality-free.

    July 17, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. G Smith

    Romney says "Obama is trying to change the nature of America"?

    Please....Romney wants to change America from a Democracy to a Plutocracy. Plutocracy is a form of government in which the wealthy class rules.

    July 17, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. PJ/TX

    The more I hear from Romney and his surrogates, the more I am convinced that America will be turned into a
    playground for the greedy. I'm sick of hearing him constantly criticizing out of one side of his mouth, then
    whining out of the other. He won't admit what his agenda is, but we can figure it out by looking at the people
    he is surrounding himself with. I'm tired of him already.

    July 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. n

    Ask Romney who helped him with his signature Olympics save . . . The Federal Government, that's who. Period.

    July 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. drake mallard

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making moneyMitt Romney uses an age-old ruse to explain how his time at Bain Capital wasn't a conflict of interest, and selectively releases his tax returns as required by lawRomney cannot claim that he should be president BECAUSE of his experience being responsible for Bain while CEO of that company and that he was not RESPONSIBLE for Bain while CEO of that company. To claim both is a paradox. Turns out that the humor of the Daily Show is great at pointing out paradox.

    July 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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