Mitt Romney, speaking this afternoon in Roxbury, accused President Obama of misunderstanding the nature of American entrepreneurship by suggesting that government assistance plays an equal role as hard work in creating small businesses.
“I don’t think the president, by his comments, understands what makes this country great,” Romney said after touring Middlesex Truck & Coach. “It wasn’t a gaffe; it was, instead, his ideology.”
The company performs work on trucks, buses, and equipment.
Romney said: “This was not the result of government. This is the result of people who take risk.”
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also complained that Obama had held 106 fund-raisers during the past six months. During that same span, the president did not meet with his business-advisory Jobs Council, which is supposed to be providing private sector insight for plotting the nation’s economic recovery.
“I think you learn something about his priorities. The job he’s interested in protecting is his own,” Romney said.
A group of about 70 protestors gathered outside, which a company official lamented.
Romney replied, according to a Reuters reporter accompanying him on his tour: “Oh, that’s the nature of politics. There’s always two teams. We’re always bothering each others’ teams.”
Employee Rodney Hollis, who said he voted for Obama in 2008, was asked about the chance of voting for the former Massachusetts governor this time around.
“It’s a possibility,” Reuters reported.
Romney did not take questions after his appearance and left without talking to reporters.
Among those outside were Boston City Councilors Tito Jackson and Felix Arroyo, two Democrats supporting Obama.
“No one does this alone,” Jackson said while speaking about business success.
Speaking last week in Virginia, Obama channeled the anthem sounded by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren when he said: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
But Obama also preceded that remark by saying: “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.”
Today the Obama campaign released its own web ad suggesting Romney was misleading voters. It interspersed a web ad released today by the Romney campaign with the fuller comments made by the president.
The Romney campaign announced that the candidate would appear with Senator Kelly Ayotte at an event at lumber wholesaler Coastal Forest Products in Bow, N.H. on Friday morning.
Romney’s visit to a Granite State business coincides with the release of its own web video, which similarly accused Obama of tearing down small businesses.
The ad features Jack Gilchrist, the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company in Hudson, N.H., blasting Obama.
“President Obama, you’re killing us out here,” Gilchrist says in the ad. “Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”
This morning, campaign spokesman Ryan Williams and adviser Kevin Madden posted pictures online of Romney speaking to his campaign staff—some of whom have never met him because of his constant travels—as he visited his North End headquarters.Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.