PORTLAND - US President Barack Obama accused Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday of misrepresenting a comment he made about small business owners that the former Massachusetts governor's campaign has pounced upon as a sign the Democratic incumbent is anti-business.
Romney's campaign seized on Obama's comment that "if you own a business, you didn't build that," to portray the president as unsympathetic to small businesses that help boost the US economy.
Obama's point was that successful business owners have had the public's help at some point in their lives through public education, roads or other government-funded projects that created an environment for businesses to bloom.
"It wasn't a gaffe," Romney said at a trucking company just outside of Boston last week. "It was instead his ideology."
On Tuesday Obama's campaign released an ad rejecting Romney's interpretation of the remarks, and at a campaign event in Oregon, the president addressed the issue directly.