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. 1twinsfan

    Ah, here it is, the "unamerican" claims. That explains Sununu's remark earlier. Bajeebus, Mitt, are you going to stoop this low? Have you no shame? This will cost you far more votes than you'll gain. Say...keep it up!

    July 17, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Core republican Values

    Core republican Value #3: "America, land of the free.....wealthy, christian, white males."

    Everyone else can shine my shoes, clean my pool, and slop my stables.

    July 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. romneycares less

    Romney will have us all speaking French like he can!

    July 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. macrasta

    whenever you want to know what Mitt's talking points will be... listen to Limbaugh....

    You keep going down this road GOP...

    July 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. cole

    Just show us the tax papers. Real Americans pay their fair share of taxes, put their money in Ameican banks and believe in the Ameican middle class not just the top 2%.

    July 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Post of the day:

    My choice is easy now. I'm voting for the guy that beat the guy that chose the VP that was a better candidate than the current guy running for POTUS who wasn't good enough to secure the VP slot over Sarah Palin in the first place.

    July 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Joi Gibson

    Again, with the not somehow American or wants to change America. Get real! This kind of talk about President Obama is more than offensive.


    July 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Paul

    American dream? You mean where you don't have to pay any taxes, but everyone else has to? Laws don't pertain to you, but to everyone else? Where you get the biggest slice of the pie and your neighbors get nothing?

    No thank you MItt! That's not the American I was raised in.

    July 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. John

    "what Democrats and Republicans have fought for".................sure isn't talking about his own family.....His father George got a religious deferment in WW II, Mitt got 3 educational & 1religious deferment to stay out of the service during the Vietnam fiasco, and his 5 sons have followed suit, despite our country's needs in Iraq and Afghanistan..............the Romney's have managed to stay "out of the fight" for 3 generations, despite 3 wars when they were the appropriate age to serve.

    July 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Debbie

    Nature of America needs to change!!!! I am tired of wealthy, non christian white men running the show....It has become evident that they are not smart......

    July 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Fro Freedom

    I can't believe what i am reading in both this article and some of these comments. CNN just gets around to saying something about Obama's most recent attack on business, which was said in a speech of his last week, because it took them this long to frame it so he looks good. And some of these comments are just outright foolish.
    This country was built on people staking everything they have in the interest of a better future. This somehow equates to government handing it to them? if a business fails does the government appear to give them back the money they lost? (oh, sorry GM but that usually doesn't happen to non union businesses). Do business not pay taxes to the government so it can use it for infrastructure development and maintenance? do these businesses not contribute to local and countrywide charities? these successful, hard working individuals that had a vision and created jobs for themselves and other Americans should not be ostracized but commended for their efforts in building a strong foundation for this country.
    This president has insulted the American dream and is a disgrace to this country and it's people. What an embarrassment to other countries that look to us for leadership during this time of global financial troubles.

    July 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Darryl

    The President said during the Clinton Presidency we created millions of jobs and the Tax rates were higher for the wealthy, the middle class did great and there were allot of millionairs created as well. President Obama wants to Extend the tax rates for the middle class and let them expire for the top wealthiest who benifited the most.Thats a good balance and it makes sense.There is nothing wrong with that at all. Two years ago Pres.Obama extended the tax cuts for everybody and the middle class got relief and the cuts for the top wealthiest were supose to creat jobs, but they did not. The Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy again and they say they will creat jobs again and we all know that they will NOT creat any jobs period.We can not keep doing the same thing over and over and expect anything to chang.It's time the top earners who made record profits at 270% higher income pay more period. It is OVER!!! Pay up and Shut-Up !

    July 17, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    What is romney the clown even talking about,a bunch of geberish that nobody even can understand,where's your tax returns you bafoon .you already lost the election and don't even know it ,what a loser with money !!!!!

    July 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. ghostriter

    Mike (not sure which one, whoever addressed me)

    I think I only made two comments. Now, should you be another conservative loser saying Obama hates America, then I'm guessing the shoe fits. Otherwise, not sure what you are talking about.

    July 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. JP

    On November 07, 2012 we would have known two things for sure:
    1. America is not a racist nation
    2. Fair share of tax for everybody in America is still under 30% (work 3.5 days for self and 1.5 days for the government; not the other way round like in France or elsewhere)

    July 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. CBR

    Please Mr. Romney. Do not give us reason to lower our opinions on you. America has changed because times have changed. Deregulation took jobs. Outsourcing took jobs. Overseas investments took jobs. Congress has spent its time doing nothing just to make sure that Mr. Obama will not be re-elected. (Mr. Romney's GOP) All this caused a drop in the number of people now in the middle class. How can you survive on a job that pays minimum wage, is part-time and has no benefits. How can you survive when your job was outsourced? How many factories,etc., closed because the cost of doing business has risen. Much of this occurred before 2009. The recession was not stoppable because costs for the war effort kept mounting causing a huge increase in the national debt.

    Thousands of men and women were deployed overseas to fight a war we did not pay for or budget for; These patriots have returned and their jobs are gone.

    What has Mr. Romney done over the last 8 years to improve the job picture?

    July 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. CBR

    Mr. Romney should disclose how much of his wealth is in banks outside of the United States. He has changed the fact of America along with others in the 1% who have done the same thing.

    July 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. ghostriter

    frofreedom, case in point.......

    Obama never said it was govt handing it to businesses. Matter of fact, he mentioned teachers as well. And no, no one does it on their own. Romney benefited from a wealthy background. No hate there, but the truth. Why do you think folks are always trying to send their kids to the best schools?

    And yes, businesses pay taxes. But they use resources more than normal folks. If trucking companies had to pay per mile, they'd shut down overnite. Fortunately, we all pay for the roads, even those who don't drive.

    July 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Kris Craig

    Blah blah blah. Is the election over yet? President Obama is literally running against "anonymous rich white guy." Accusing Obama of promoting a "foreign" agenda is just a not-so-clever attempt at attacking him for being black.

    July 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Fred

    Romney, didn't obama give you your wealth and success?

    July 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    So, because Romney thinks he likes success more than the President, that will automatically make it so? What a limp, flaccid, pathetic excuse for policy. Of course, that explains why the Right loves it, because it's short, has no details, and they won't be responsible for it when it fails, kind of like tax cuts for the rich.

    July 17, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. For Freedom

    How does Romney s tax returns create jobs? honestly people, Wake Up. this "look at the shiny object" campaign Obama is running is so beneath all of us Americans. As yourself, Why does he keep distracting everyone from his record?

    July 17, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Dave

    Of course Obama is trying to change America. He loves deficits, debt and unemployment. He wants everyone to get a welfare check.

    July 17, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Justin

    The big bad socialist and the dream of healthcare for all. Why don't you cry about it O'Romney. Or take credit for creating it?

    July 17, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. betterdays

    So most of the leftist rhetoric here amounts to, "Hey wealthy person, give us more of your money because we said so." Well, it doesn't work that way in the United States. Yes, I know; complaining that "life is unfair" is the basis for all social change, including that which brings unforseen negative long-term repercussions. I'm just getting awfully tired of hearing how it's always someone else's fault that you aren't where you want to be. I thought all of this was going to stop once Obama got elected, and all the whiners would finally quit whining, but I see here that the whining has only gotten louder. I'm by no means rich, but the thought of an extremely rich (white male?) laughing at the folly of some fresh-out-of-school utopian fool strikes me as legitimately comical.

    July 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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