by Amy Garner, Washington Post
After being pummeled for days at the Republican National Convention for his remark that business owners “didn’t build that,” President Obama heads to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina this week facing mounting questions about how he will respond to charges that he is hostile to free enterprise.
On Sunday, senior Obama advisers suggested that they will not address the anti-business allegations directly but will instead try to turn the tables on their GOP rivals by accusing them of being dishonest about what Obama meant. David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, said in an interview Sunday on ABC News that Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign is engaged in a broader pattern of dishonesty and is “built on a tripod of lies.” Plouffe cited accusations that Obama has gutted the work requirement for welfare and “raided” Medicare to pay for the nation’s new health-care law as other examples of untruths coming from the GOP.
The Obama team thinks that it has effectively dealt with the “build that” attacks and that the issue is overblown — the “drill, baby, drill” of 2012, a rallying cry for the right but ultimately one with limited appeal in the broader electorate.
Nevertheless, there are signs that they see a vulnerability. Obama has not repeated the words that sparked the controversy, and he has toned down the broader argument — that government help is essential to business success — in the six weeks since he ad-libbed the line near the end of a long campaign swing. His speeches have been shorter, with fewer references to wealthy Americans. He is more cautious about portraying the choice that he quite forcefully described that night between Romney’s worldview and his own... [MORE]