The Barack Obama campaign on Tuesday began running a TV commercial in North Carolina and five other battleground states in response to criticism of the presidents comments regarding small businesses.
Speaking into the camera, Obama says the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney is running ads that distort his words on small business. Those ads taking my words about small business out of context theyre flat out wrong, he says. Of course Americans built their own businesses.
He said he was referring to the investment in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology.
Besides North Carolina, the ad is running in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
We are not going to stand by while Mitt Romney slices and dices and deliberately takes out of context the presidents remarks on businesses, said Jen Psaki, a campaign spokeswoman.
Republicans have been hitting Obama hard over the remark and bringing out small-business owners to speak to reporters about how they built their businesses. In Raleigh, the GOP plans a We Did Build This Event Wednesday morning at Snoopys Hot Dogs where the owners have been outspoken in their criticism.
Here is Obamas original quote, made in Roanoke, Va.: 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 youve got a business you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didnt get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
Dalton gives up his raise
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor, said he was declining to take the 1.2 percent pay increase for state employees that is in this years state budget, saying he wanted to set an example during tough times.
Meanwhile, he noted that his Republican opponent, Pat McCrory, had supported raising his own pay as the part-time mayor of Charlotte.
At a time that we are eliminating thousands of educator jobs and cutting economic development funds for even our most distressed areas, Dalton said in a statement, I feel obligated to decline this pay increase.
The lieutenant governor makes $123,198 annually. He would have made $124,676 with the raise.
Throughout my career, Ive always tried to lead by example, Dalton said. While in the Senate, I cut my own pay amidst budget cuts, and in this campaign Ive disclosed more than financial regulations require because I believe in transparency and answering to the people of North Carolina. On the other hand, there are still questions about who has been paying my opponent and how he has been earning his keep.
Dalton has been urging McCrory to release his tax returns. McCrory works for Moore & Van Allen, a major law firm that does some lobbying. McCrory, who is not a lawyer, has said he does public policy work for the firm but not lobbying.
State GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood countered Daltons announcement by saying: Walter Dalton doesnt deserve a raise. Over his career, Dalton has voted for more than $7 billion in tax increases, and his plan is to raise taxes on everyone in North Carolina again if elected.
The legislature included a 1.2 percent pay increase for state employees. It also raised the salaries of Council of State members by that much by statute.
Cope gets contract extension
Dana Cope, executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, received a five-year contract extension from the groups board of governors.
Cope started at the organization in 2000, having worked as a lobbyist for the state Department of Labor. Cope was running in the Democratic primary for Labor Commissioner when he dropped his campaign and took the SEANC job.
In 2008, SEANC became an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Cope is a member of SEIUs executive committee.
Staff writers Rob Christensen and Lynn Bonner
Send tips to email@example.com.