COLUMBUS, OH -- Stumping for Mitt Romney in a key battleground state Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal hammered President Obama over remarks he made last week about the government’s role in the private sector.
“You know, his aides will try to say he just misspoke – it's not what he meant. I think these comments reveal something about this President,” Jindal said, adding later that Obama “truly thinks wealth is created through government spending.”
Nati Harnik / AP
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Nebraska Republican Convention in Grand Island, Neb., Saturday, July 14, 2012.
Jindal made the remarks during a brief speech to about 150 Romney campaign supporters, volunteers, and staff at a headquarters office here in Columbus.
It was just the latest in a series of Republican attacks this week on Obama’s Friday remarks in Roanoke, Va., where the president said private enterprise is reliant on public support.
“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,” Obama said.
“Somebody invested in roads and bridges,” Obama continued. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
The remarks gave an opening to Republicans, who have argued throughout the election cycle that President Obama has over-emphasized a public finance approach to fixing the economy and lacks faith in small business.
Speaking at an energy services company Tuesday in Irwin, Penn., Romney told supporters that while the American people “appreciate” the sacrifices of government workers, “taxpayers pay for government.”
“The president’s logic doesn’t just extend to the entrepreneurs that started a barber shop, or a taxi operation, or an oil field service business like this,” Romney said.
Wednesday, Romney’s surrogates who advanced the attack ratcheted up the tone.
“Under President Obama, you’ve got what I label basically the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ perspective,” Jindal said, before adding that Obama is “trying to manage the slow decline of this great country.”
Speaking earlier, State Rep. Cheryl Grossman cited her worry about how the President’s economic policy will affect her children.
“I cannot recall any time in my memory when I have feared a president as much as I do our current president,” Grossman said.
Jindal, who supported Texas Gov. Rick Perry during the Republican primary, has become an increasingly visible and sharp-tongued surrogate for Romney – and a speculated-about choice for the vice presidential slot.
Later Wednesday, Jindal visited a private fundraiser for Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican running for U.S. Senate. Guests leaving the event said Jindal spoke knowledgably about Ohio politics and urged restraint when it comes to the state budget.
But few guests listed Jindal at the top of their own wish list.
Edd Dunlap, who works for a local homebuilding company, said he was impressed by Jindal’s management of the 2010 BP oil spill crisis, though he hopes Romney selects Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
“He’s local,” Dunlap said of Portman. “So of course I’ve got to support him.”