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FACT CHECK: Romney’s Entire Campaign Now Based On A False, Out Of Context Attack

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From the Obama campaign:

 

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FACT CHECK: Romney’s Entire Campaign Now Based On A False, Out Of Context Attack

 

What’s clear tonight is that Mitt Romney’s entire campaign for the presidency is now based on a false, out of context attack – highlighted by videos that misleadingly edit President Obama’s words. As independent news organizations and fact checkers have said, Romney’s “you didn’t build that” attack is “false,” “wildly out of context,” “misleading,” and evidence his campaign is “descending into silly season.”

 

ROMNEY TOOK OUT OF CONTEXT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMENTS ABOUT HOW THE “UNBELIEVABLE AMERICAN SYSTEM” HELPS AMERICANS SUCCEED,  EVEN THOUGH HIS OWN STATEMENTS AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT

 

ROMNEY’S ATTACK HAS BEEN DEBUNKED AS “DESCENDING INTO SILLY SEASON,” “MISLEADING,” “WILDLY OUT OF CONTEXT,” AND “FALSE”

 

The Washington Post Fact Checker: “Romney Descends Into Silly Season When He Extrapolates Obama’s Quote And Says That Means Obama Believes Steve Jobs Did Not Build Apple Computers.” “Romney, however, descends into silly season when he extrapolates Obama’s quote and says that means Obama believes Steve Jobs did not build Apple Computers. Here’s what Obama said when Jobs passed away earlier this year: ‘By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun.’ That sounds like Obama believes that Jobs really did build his company.

[Washington Post Fact-Checker, 7/23/12]

 

Ø  The Washington Post Fact Checker Gave Three Pinocchios To Romney’s Use Of President Obama’s Comment On How Education And Infrastructure Can Help Small Businesses Succeed. [Washington Post Fact-Checker,7/23/12]

 

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein Called Romney’s Ad A “Misleading Attack Ad” Stating, “In Romney’s Ad, ‘That’ Refers To ‘Building A Business.’ In Obama’s Remarks, ‘That’ Refers To The Roads And Bridges.” [Washington Post, WonkBlog, 7/19/12]

 

Associated Press: “Mitt Romney Says Barack Obama Doesn't Think Entrepreneurs Built Their Businesses. The Problem Is That's Not What The President Said.”  “Mitt Romney says Barack Obama doesn't think entrepreneurs built their businesses. The problem is that's not what the president said. The brouhaha over Obama's comments on businesses shows no sign of fading. Romney continues to hammer Obama over comments taken wildly out of context and Romney's allies are pummeling the president as a government-obsessed figure who thinks Washington is to credit for small-business success.” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]

 

Ø  Associated Press: Romney Took President Obama’s Comments “Wildly Out Of Context.” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]

 

Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact Rated Romney’s Attack “False” Stating Romney “Conveniently Ignores Obama's Clear Summary Of His Message, That ‘The Point Is … That When We Succeed, We Succeed Because Of Our Individual Initiative, But Also Because We Do Things Together.”  “In speeches and videos, the Romney campaign has repeatedly distorted Obama's words. By plucking two sentences out of context, Romney twists the president's remarks and ignores their real meaning. The preceding sentences make clear that Obama was talking about the importance of government-provided infrastructure and education to the success of private businesses. Romney also conveniently ignores Obama's clear summary of his message, that ‘the point is … that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.’ By leaving out the ‘individual initiative’ reference, Romney and his supporters have misled viewers and given a false impression. For that, we rate the claim False.” [Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact, 7/26/12]

 

AS INDEPENDENT NEWS OUTLETS AND FACT CHECKERS NOTED, PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS DESCRIBING THE WAYS IN WHICH THE AMERICAN SYSTEM—INCLUDING EDUCATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE—CAN HELP INDIVIDUALS SUCCEED

 

Washington Post’s The Fix: “Romney’s Ad Truncates Obama’s Words,” Cutting Remarks About Education And Infrastructure That Made It “More Clear That He Was Saying Individuals Didn’t Build That System, Not That Individuals Don’t Build Their Own Businesses.” “Like the Web video, Romney’s ad truncates Obama’s words to make them more damaging. ‘In the ad, the video jumps from the president saying ‘If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own’ to ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.’ In his speech, Obama spoke in between about the infrastructure and education that help, making it more clear that he was saying individuals didn’t build that system, not that individuals don’t build their own businesses.” [Washington Post, The Fix Blog, 7/20/12]

 

Los Angeles Times: Romney Was “Mischaracterizing” President Obama’s Comment, Where He Praised Individual Achievement And Said, “Success By Anyone Rests On Contributions From Others.” “But Romney was mischaracterizing what Obama actually said. In his full comment, Obama lauded individual achievement but said success by anyone rests on contributions from others, such as school teachers or road builders.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/17/12]

 

Associated Press: Contrary To Romney’s Claim, President Obama Spoke About “The Government's Supportive Role In Providing A Stable Environment In Which Businesses Can Thrive.”  “That was not Obama's point when he spoke in Virginia on July 13 about the government's supportive role in providing a stable environment in which businesses can thrive. Nor was it Romney's point when he used similar phrasing in 2002 about Olympic athletes who benefited from supportive parents and coaches. But in a campaign that makes facts secondary to a good attack, the context doesn't seem to matter.” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]

 

Huffington Post: In Reacting To President Obama’s Remark, Mitt Romney “Ignored Its Original Context,” Which Was That “Businesses Needed Infrastructure Investment To Succeed.” “Mitt Romney on Tuesday seized on a recent remark by President Barack Obama to paint him as anti-business, but he took it out of context. ‘If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen,’ Obama said Friday… But in his reaction to the remark, Romney ignored its original context. When he made the comment in Roanoke, Va. Friday, Obama was arguing that businesses needed infrastructure investment to succeed.” [Huffington Post, 7/17/12]

 

Ø  Huffington Post Headline: “Mitt Romney Takes Obama Remark Out Of Context” [Huffington Post, 7/17/12]

 

ABC News: The President’s Argument “Revolves Around The Idea That Business People Need The Infrastructure Provided By The Government In Order To Succeed.”  “The president’s argument, which is similar to one made by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, revolves around the idea that business people need the infrastructure provided by the government in order to succeed.” [ABC News, 7/17/12]

 

ROMNEY ATTACKED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMENT HOW THE AMERICAN SYSTEM SUPPORTS SUCCESS, EVEN AS ROMNEY ESSENTIALLY MADE THE SAME ARGUMENT

 

Romney Attacked President Obama’s Comment On Public Services That Support Businesses, Even As Romney’s Own Statement Agreed “With The Broader Context Of Obama’s Remarks.”“The Romney campaign came out with a new video today highlighting Mitt Romney's attack yesterday in Irwin, PA on President Obama for saying “if you've got a business you didn't build that, someone else made that happen.” But the Romney video edits a a portion of Romney's speech in which he seems to agree with the broader context of the Obama's remarks, saying people didn't make it on their own.” [Buzzfeed, 7/18/12]

 

Ø  Buzzfeed: “New Romney Video Omits Passage Apparently Agreeing With Obama” [Buzzfeed, 7/18/12]

 

Politico’s Dylan Byers: “The [Romney Campaign’s] Web Video Edits The Context Out Of Obama’s Remarks” Even Though “Just Yesterday, Romney Made The Same Argument President Obama Made In The Four Lines The Romney Campaign Decided To Omit.”“Interestingly, if unsurprisingly, the web video edits the context out of Obama's remarks. The President appears to have said: ‘Let me tell you something. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ But as Greg Sargent of the Washington Post notes, there were four other sentences that came between, in which Obama argues that no human being exists in a vacuum (he/she has been helped by teachers, parents, etc.), and that no business exists in a vacuum (it depends on an functioning system of laws, infrastructure, etc.). Spliced quotes aren't remarkable in 2012, and anyway this one isn't particularly egregious. What is remarkable is that, just yesterday, Romney made the same argument President Obama made in the four lines the Romney campaign decided to omit.” [Dylan Byers, Politico, 7/19/12]

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THAT “WHEN WE SUCCEED, WE SUCCEED BECAUSE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE BUT ALSO BECAUSE WE DO THINGS TOGETHER,” OFFERING STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS AS AN EXAMPLE

 

President Obama 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” And Noted “The Point Is We’re All In This Together.” “Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  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. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.” [Remarks by the President in Roanoke, 7/13/12]

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THAT “WHEN WE SUCCEED, WE SUCCEED BECAUSE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE BUT ALSO BECAUSE WE DO THINGS TOGETHER,” OFFERING STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS AS AN EXAMPLE

 

President Obama Was Referencing Investments In Education And Infrastructure That Support Small Businesses When He 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.” “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  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.” [Remarks by the President in Roanoke, 7/13/12]

 

President Obama Said The Point Is That “When We Succeed, We Succeed Because Of Our Individual Initiative But Also Because We Do Things Together.” President Obama said, “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.” [Remarks by the President in Roanoke, 7/13/12]