Obama defends "You didn't build that"

Published: Sep. 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM EDT
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NORFOLK, VA (WWBT) - For the second time since Barack Obama was sworn into office, NBC12 was granted a one-on-one interview with the president.

The interview took place after his event Tuesday in Norfolk and hit on a number of important topics, including his response to the way Republicans have used one line from a speech he gave in Virginia against him.

It is a line that has become a slogan for the Republican Party. "If you've got a business," Obama said in Roanoke, "You didn't build that."The line became a theme for their convention.

"Obviously, I have regrets for my syntax," Obama replied. "But not for the point, because everyone who was there watching knows exactly what I was saying."

The president stands by that point, claiming that his administration has done plenty for small business, and that a strong government supports their growth. It's growth that he thinks has made life better for most Americans.

"We are absolutely better off than we were when I was sworn in and we were losing 800,000 jobs in a month," he said.

The question of "Are we better off?" is a point that has stumbled several prominent Obama supporters, and given Republicans like RNC Chairman Reince Priebus the opportunity to point out areas where the American economy is still struggling.

"The facts are, unemployment is too high. The president didn't fix that problem," Priebus said. "Spending is too high. He didn't fix that problem."

And despite his belief that things are better, the president admits it is far from perfect.

"Obviously, we have much more to do," he said.  "That is true here in Virginia and that is true all across the country."

After four years, Barack Obama still believes he is the man to get the job done and he is not afraid to compare his record to Mitt Romney, even using harsh accusations on the campaign trail.

"Maybe we should call his plan "Romney doesn't care," Obama said during his campaign speech in Norfolk.

"Well I think his policies are ones that are out of touch with what ordinary folks are dealing with every day," said President Obama. He followed up by saying his attacks are nothing personal. Republicans believe his campaign is all negative.

"If you continue talking and talking," said Priebus, "Eventually it catches with you."

See the entire interview on DecisionVirginia.com.

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