Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell plans to go on the offensive against President Obama tonight in a speech at the Republican National Convention, using homegrown Virginia examples to cast the Democrat in the White House as a failure.
Excerpts of his speech released Tuesday afternoon suggest the Republican governor will invoke Obama's "you didn't build that" comment made last month at a campaign rally in July.
Republicans have seized on that remark, as well as his proposal to make those with incomes over $250,000 pay higher taxes, to cast Obama as hostile to free market capitalism and the businesses that drive it.
Obama backers argue Republicans have twisted his words and taken them out of the larger context in which they were delivered: that individual success, while laudatory, is dependent on the public infrastructure all Americans contribute towards and benefit from.
Republicans see it differently.
They view the comments it as a window into Obama's inner socialist spirit and they're hammering that theme by incorporating a pro-entrepreneur message into the convention.
And McDonnell will deliver that message in his prime time speech time.
"We need a President who will say to a small businesswoman: congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that," the governor will say, according to excerpts of his remarks released to reporters.
"Big government didn't build America: You built America," he'll note, adding that "small businesses don't come out of Washington D.C. pre-made on flat bed trucks."
And he'll make allusions to Virginia, referencing "that coffee shop in Henrico; that florist in Virginia Beach....that bakery in Radford," businesses "all built by entrepreneurial Americans with big dreams."
McDonnell's speech is scheduled to occur sometime after 7 p.m. this evening.
EXCERPTS FROM McDONNELL'S PREPARED TEXT
"The times call for new leadership to get this great nation out of debt and back to work.
The choice is clear: the status quo of the entitlement society, or dynamic change to an opportunity society.
We need a President who will say to a small businesswoman: congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that!
Big government didn't build America: You built America!
Small businesses don't come out of Washington D.C. pre-made on flat bed trucks.
That coffee shop in Henrico; that florist in Virginia Beach ... that bakery in Radford ... they were all built by entrepreneurial Americans with big dreams ... not a big spending government with a wide open wallet full of other people's money!"
"Conservative fiscal policies are working, and so are more Americans in states with Republican governors.
Now, just think what we can do if we had a President who would support us, not obstruct us.
Someone who has created jobs in the private sector, who understands the economy, and who has actually balanced a budget....or heck, for that matter, who has actually passed a budget!
We need President Mitt Romney!
When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get to work with Susana Martinez ... Scott Walker ... John Kasich ... Terry Branstad and governors from both parties across this country, we will get people back to work!"
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