The Romney campaign senses, I think, that President Obama’s arrogant dismissal of private enterprise–”You didn’t build it”–was a blunder of epic proportions. In a moment of candor before a friendly audience, Obama let the mask drop, and we can see who he really is and what he really thinks.
Obama’s media flacks are whining that “You didn’t build it” is taken out of context, and he just meant roads and bridges. Grammatically, that makes no sense. But more broadly, they are right–Obama’s point was that the government is responsible for everything. No matter how hard you work you can’t succeed without government, and so everything you have really belongs to the government (i.e., the Obama administration). Therefore, sit down and shut up when we raise your taxes. That was the context, and it is precisely the context that makes the quote so devastating. That, plus Obama’s sneering, vicious tone. We keep hearing that polls show that voters think Obama is “likable.” I am skeptical about that, but in any event, he won’t be scoring high on “likability” with anyone who sees the video.
The Romney campaign needs to keep pounding on this issue every day; it illuminates the differences between the candidates in a way that can ensure a Romney victory. So far, every indication is that his campaign will do exactly that. Here is the latest: a T-shirt, with “I built my business, Mr. President” on the front and a quote from the speech that Romney gave yesterday on the back:
I’m guessing they will outsell the “I Heart Obamacare” bumper stickers that the Obama campaign is trying to give away.