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Romney to Olympians: 'You didn't get here solely on your own'

Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for his “you didn’t build that line,” when it came to businesses. The president was making an “it takes a village” argument, which the Romney campaign and conservatives have roundly panned.

But in 2002, during his speech at the Opening Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics -- the games in which Romney was lauded for turning around the management -- Romney made a similar argument about Olympians.

"You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

In full context, Romney, of course, also praised the Olympians’ efforts – right before he made his “you didn’t get here solely on your own” remark.

“Tonight we cheer the Olympians, who only yesterday were children themselves,” Romney said. “As we watch them over the next 16 days, we affirm that our aspirations, and those of our children and grandchildren, can become reality. We salute you Olympians – both because you dreamed and because you paid the price to make your dreams real. You guys pushed yourself, drove yourself, sacrificed, trained and competed time and again at winning and losing.”

*** UPDATE *** A Republican strategist sends over this response: “The Obama Campaign is comparing the government to a loving parent? What happened to Julia?”

For the record, the post did not originate with the Obama campaign but an NBC archive search.

Video edited by NBC's Matt Loffman