The Obama campaign also enlisted the co-founder and former CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal, who defended the president in a message posted on the campaign's web site late Monday.
"You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn't support small business owners," Sinegal said. "But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative—because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and that we can't do it alone."
Do Republicans know they've gotten inside Team Obama's head a bit? You bet.
"Steph Cutter and Team Obama continue throwing their fake tantrum over the context of the president's economic comments thinking we'll overlook reality," Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "The fact is from his 'you didn't build that' and the private sector is 'doing fine' comments to the fact that he hasn't met with his jobs council in six months and hasn't had a daily economic briefing in over a year, we know these aren't gaffes or out of context — they are Obama's beliefs."
"Doing fine" referred to Obama's contention, during an early June appearance in the White House briefing room, that "the private sector is doing fine" compared to the cash-strapped public sector, which has been laying off workers. The resulting Republican outcry and media coverage led the president to clarify his comments a few hours later, telling reporters: "It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine."
The RNC on Tuesday upped the dosage, releasing a new online video pointing out that Obama's jobs council hasn't met in months and charging that he has not received a daily economy briefing in a year.
Here is the full passage of Obama's relevant remarks in Roanoke:
"Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. 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. 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, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."