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Republicans to declare ‘We Built This!’ in stadium built with government funds

By David Edwards
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:46 EDT
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Tampa Bay Times Forum arena
 
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The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced this week that it would craft its convention theme around President Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark — which was taken out of context to suggest that business owners “didn’t build” their businesses — and the party will unveil that message in an arena that was mostly built with government funds.

The Daily Dolt noted on Wednesday that part of the GOP message may be undermined by the fact that the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena — where the convention is being held — was financed with $86 million in public money.

During a campaign event in Virginia last month, Obama had pointed out the importance of the government’s role in providing infrastructure and education as a foundation for small business success.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” the president explained. “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.”

In a series of ads and speeches, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign selectively edited those remarks by removing the reference to “roads and bridges,” making it seem like the president was dismissing the success of small business owners.

“In speeches and videos, the Romney campaign has repeatedly distorted Obama’s words,” PolitiFact wrote. “By plucking two sentences out of context, Romney twists the president’s remarks and ignores their real meaning. … Romney and his supporters have misled viewers and given a false impression. For that, we rate the claim False.”

The RNC is now taking those attacks to the next level by making “We Built This!” the central theme of their convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, according to Fox News.

Originally called The Ice Palace, the arena was built in 1996 at a cost of $139 million, 62 percent of which was publicly financed.

“Kind of kills that idea that it doesn’t take a village, right?” The Atlantic‘s Alexander Abad-Santos observed.

Watch this video from Fox News, broadcast Aug. 21, 2012.


(h/t: Political Wire)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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