Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign have entered the attack mode of their media strategy, dogging President Barack Obama after his recent campaign visit in Virginia gave the Romney camp fuel for criticism. Conservative talking heads and various media outlets have seized on Obama’s words and are hurling around terms, such as “crony capitalism” and the like, giving the already tightly contested campaign yet another turbulent bump.
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Obama at the Virginia event last week said, “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 fired off a salvo, especially as the Bain Capital controversy is still fresh in the minds of voters and donors, by wisely turning the conversation toward economics – a sore point of contention with Obama supporters and detractors:
“To say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza …To say something like that, it’s not just foolishness,” Romney said. “I tell you this. I’m convinced that he wants Americans to be ashamed of success.”
Republicans and some conservatives are staunchly against government meddling in burgeoning businesses, so for Romney the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Former New Hampshire governor and White House chief of staff John Sununu, a vocal Republican and media fixture for the Right, landed some of the first critical blows toward Obama, saying on a conference call, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”
Sununu later backpedaled on his controversial words, adding, “‘What I thought I said but I guess I didn’t say is that the President has to learn the American formula for creating business The American formula for creating business is not to have government create business.”
Sununu would later apologize for his remarks but the Romney attacks are hardly cooling off the allegations that Romney falsified his involvement with the Bain Capital private equity firm. The Obama camp shrugged off Sununu’s words and has continued their relentless investigation in to the murky details of Romney’s tenure with the firm.