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Romney 2002 vs. Romney 2012

Published July 23, 2012 11:22 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A speech Mitt Romney gave to athletes about to compete in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics has returned to bite Romney on his Olympic-sized tush — because, once again, what he said before is contradicting what he's saying now.

In recent weeks, Romney has been hammering President Barack Obama over a quote of Obama's: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else did that."

Romney and other right-wingers have called the quote proof that Obama is anti-business, and supporting some kind of socialist collectivism over individual achievement.

The quote is taken wildly out of context of a larger speech, in which the president argues that every personal success story depends on supporting factors:

"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."

Now, flash back (as the liberal blog Think Progress did) to 2002, and Romney's speech to Olympic athletes:

"You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power. 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."

Sounds like the same sentiment, doesn't it?