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. Sandy

    So desperate that they are resorting to racist rhetoric. LMAO!

    July 17, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Chris Alexander

    Well now we are at least getting down to a real discussion. Mitt Romney's vision (sic) is not what America is about. "We the People" is a collectivist phrase. The government the Republicans so hate IS the people. The GOP tries every day and every way to rewrite the history of our nation's founding, and then when their BS is called out they move on to inciting the bigotry and latent violence of their most loony supporters. And calling in the likes of Cheney and Sununu means that they are panicking that their efforts are not working. But Cheney, Sununu, Rove, Condi Rice et al are not strong enough to turn back the tide of progressive truth-telling.

    July 17, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Sorensen

    Romney is as un-american as anybody could possibly be. He has no personality, no core, no class, no nothing.
    And his so-called "business-experience" does not qualify him to any major political job. He is a certified distressed
    asset manipulator, and he lies. He is also a mormon, which means he does not like women very much, and black
    people, and latinos, and gays, and catholics, and birth control, etc.
    He should just go back to California and play with his new car-elevator. He is an embarrassment to his party and to
    thinking people.

    July 17, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. betterdays

    The U.S.A. is chock-full of poor, unsuccessful, uneducated semi-failures who are pretty sure that their plight is a direct result of someone else's success; ergo,Obama will probably get a second term. I mean, I pretty much just described his entire political premise.

    July 17, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Maxx

    He's not attacking success, just tax cheats, know any Mitt?

    July 17, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. jk in MN

    Once again, the bloggers take one part of a sentence and pervert what was said and Mr Flip FLop's team doesn't bother/doesn't want to verify what was said because he is desperate to take the heat off the pressure to release his tax returns – It won't! I certainly hope he is – this age of Greed otherwise know as "trickle down economics" has to stop.

    July 17, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Boris of New Jersey wrote:

    To all ignorant Obama followers:
    Wake up before this country becomes Union of Soviet Americas.
    If you elect Obama then you deserve what is coming to you.
    Save America – defeat Marxist in WH
    If you'd ever actually read Marx, you see that he was inspired by western style Imperial Capitalism, as practiced by the British at the time. It is still in practice today by the neo-cons. They wish to turn this country in to an Plutocracy, where the only product we sell is capital itself.

    In case you have not noticed, the financial sector has become a larger and larger part of our GDP over the past 40 years, while manufacturing of goods has become dramatically smaller. Percentage of GDP for the financial sector has grown from 16% percent 40 years ago, to nearly 60% today. Financial services has replaced manufacturing. We are becoming the pinnacle of capitlism, a plutocracy.

    July 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. MoninDenver

    What Romney was trying to say is he became sucessful at the expense of other American's, and he does not care what the American people think. He did it all by himself, and the workers were not a part of it. The fact he shipped their jobs overseas, so he could profit was their own fault for wanting decent wages, benefits and healthcare. His main goal was to avoid paying into the American tax system, because he really doesn't feel America is beautiful.

    In other words, he's full of it. Now he want's to be "LEADER OF THE FREE-WORLD". LOL

    July 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Mark my words: this dogwhistling will backfire with independents. It is NOT what they want to hear.

    July 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Bob

    What do Republicans and Russia have in common?

    Russia had Medvedev the puppet and Putin who ran the country.

    The US Republicans had Bush the puppet for 8 years with Cheney running the country.

    Now the Republicans are changing it around a little and having Romney the puppet with a board of the richest americans running the country.

    Land of the free, home of the brave. What a crock!

    July 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Expat American

    Oh Dear
    It looks like the Romney “Bully and Cower” campaign is about to exhume the 2008 “Only Republicans are Real Americans” slogan in a few days!
    Bring it, Big Bird.

    July 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens' grandfather gave up his US citizenship and went to Mexico to keep his 4 wives. George Romney was born in Mexico, yet Mittens talks of the nature of America. Even a clueless right wingnut knows that Obama's grandfather served with General Patton and the Obamas all shared the American dream. Unlike Mittens who was born in the end zone and he thought he scored a touchdown, the Obamas have all shared being a part of the struggling middle class.

    July 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Wes B.

    How can he say Obama is against success? Obama is for success of EVERYONE...not just the super-rich and the corporations.

    July 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Russ

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

    How does he come up with this stuff? The only thing trying to change the nature of America is the Republican mind set and promise that they will do whatever it takes to get the black guy out of the whitehouse even it means extending the recession started by Bush. Nothing but Angry Old White Men throwing a tantrum.

    July 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. winky

    Hey mitty it takes a vilage to raise a business!

    July 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Right wingnuts are not very bright so they get their knowledge of socialism from Fox foreign owned media.

    July 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |

    Ghostriter, typical of a liberal to insult. Can you tell me what is wrong with my post. This is exact words.

    July 17, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
    I don't see where you got singled-out because of your post. Eat some bran, dude.

    July 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Jesus Christ Superstar

    Boris of New Jersey wrote:

    To all ignorant Obama followers:
    Wake up before this country becomes Union of Soviet Americas.
    If you elect Obama then you deserve what is coming to you.
    Save America – defeat Marxist in WH

    What does "Union of Soviet Americas" even mean, Boris? SO Obama isn't Kenyan anymore, now he's a 1980's Russian?

    July 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    The DeLorean goes in –>forward>Maybe you would like to sit on the roof?

    July 17, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Don't fall for it guys! They are just trying to see if they can make something stick to change the subject from Romney's tax returns.


    July 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Willard, while you're trying to punch your way out of this tax wet paper bag, prominent people in your party are asking for the same thing that majorty of us are asking for. SHOW US YOUR PAPERS!!! If this is how you handle a problem, I'd hate to see how you'd handle a national security threat. You're not ready for President Obama's job!!! Go back to running your Bermuda shell company and hiding your profits in Swiss & Luxembourg accounts.

    July 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. betterdays

    I honestly had no idea just how angry people are that others have something they don't. It's sort of simultaneously hilarious and pathetic. But it's very American. It's not like a lot of these people even want what Romney has, they just don't want HIM to have it. And they don't want other executives to be rich, either. It's so weird. I'll never understand that sort of envy, where the only people who are morally permitted to be wealthy are entertainers, athletes, and Democrat politicians or their donors. That's just illogical.

    July 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    Please tell me Mitt when the president has attacked sucess or are you getting your talking pouints from FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh as well? If any candidate has been sucessful it's the least he is willing to admit he did not achieve it all alone.

    July 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. chill

    The real difference between Obama and Romney is that Romney defines success by how well the elite are doing and Obama is working to have anyone who works hard succeed or have a fair chance at success. That's what used tobe considered the American Dream. Now the elite have the system so rigged that it's much harder for the average person to simply stay afloat, much less get ahead. Is Obama trying to change the nature of America. I sure hope so. Because not only are the mass of us being left behind, but we aren't even maintaining the means for business to succeed in the future as our infrastructure crumbles.

    July 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Meka

    AMERICA CHANGED, when the Republicians decided that the MIDDLE CLASS would NO LONGER EXIST

    July 17, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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