The comments are indefensible, so I guess the only real defense Obama is left with is to claim he never really said what he clearly said, though as the article pointed out Obama didn’t initially use the “out of context” defense. He initially tried to claim that Romney had made similar comments.
The president, after taking a few-day hiatus from campaigning along with Romney out of respect for the victims of the Colorado mass shooting, set out on a round of fundraisers where he tried again to douse the still-simmering controversy over his ill-phrased remarks on business in America.
Speaking in Oakland Monday night, he said Romney knowingly “twisted my words around” to imply he didn’t care about small business.
The fundraiser remarks marked the latest effort by the Obama campaign to claim Romney pulled his quote out of context. The Obama campaign released a web video titled “Tampered” on Monday that made the same point.
However, the campaign did not initially mount this argument. In the days immediately following the comments, in which the president suggested businesses owe their success in large part to government, the campaign defended the president’s remarks — without claiming they were taken out of context.
Romney makes a good point in noting that the context of Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comments actually make it worse:
“The context, he says, you know, you think you’ve been successful because you’re smart, but he says a lot of people are smart. You think you’ve been successful because you work hard, a lot of people work hard. This is an ideology which says hey, we’re all the same here, we ought to take from all and give to one another and that achievement, individual initiative and risk-taking and success are not to be rewarded as they have in the past,” Romney said. “It’s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy.”
What Obama was saying is that nobody is really smarter than anyone else. Nobody really works harder than anyone else. We’re all winners, so we should redistribute wealth evenly.
Which is a bit like not keeping score in sports.
In the grown-up world, we know that winners achieve through hard work and talent and that they deserve to be rewarded for that hard work and talent. It’s the profit motive. We work hard and deploy our talents to achieve success and prosperity. If our hard work goes unrewarded, then what’s the point in working hard?