"Those ads, taking my words about small business out context, they're flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run," says Obama to the camera.
"What I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology," he continues.
Romney's campaign released an ad last week accusing Obama of "demonizing" small business owners. The presumptive GOP nominee has continued hammer Obama on the campaign trail over the handling of the economy and role of government in the private sector.
“The idea to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John’s ... it’s not just foolishness, it’s insulting to every entrepreneur in America,” Romney said at a Pennsylvania campaign rally last Tuesday.
Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams responded to the Obama ad Tuesday in a statement: "It's clear what President Obama believes because he told us: 'if you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ He said it, and he meant it."
Democrats and Obama campaign have been arguing that the Republican presidential challenger took the comments "out of context."
"Despite the Romney campaign’s attempts to distort President Obama’s words, the President has always believed in the drive and ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs and workers. He believes the only way to create an economy built to last is to build it from the middle out, not the top down," said text released with the television ad.
The Obama team, fighting back against Romney, also released a Web video earlier Tuesday defending the president's remarks.
"Romney deliberately altered the meaning of the president's words," says a voiceover in the Obama video. "Actually, he was talking about 'building infrastructure and education, not that individuals don't build their businesses."
Obama's original remarks came as part of a July 13 speech in Roanoke, Va., where he spoke of the importance of government services on the success of private businesses.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you help,” he said at the time. “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have 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 that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”