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Obama video deceptively edits Obama speech to make it sound pro-business

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

So here’s where this is going. The Obama campaign is out with a new Web video hitting Romney for accurately quoting Obama saying “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” It features clips of Romney’s speech quoting Obama, and clips of Obama’s speech.

But the video deceptively edits Obama’s remarks to seamlessly link up two different parts of the speech. And it cuts out disparaging remarks Obama made up business owners. Here is how Obama’s speech is represented in the video:

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 point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Now here is Obama’s actual speech. Missing sentences in bold:

Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

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.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

Unlike The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent, I see nothing wrong with the editing the Obama campaign did here. Their video accurately quotes both Obama and Romney. Yes, they did chop off some sentences for time and to better fit their intended message. But there is nothing “deceptive” about it.

UPDATE: Some have pointed out that the second paragraph and the title contradict the final paragraph. This is true. The title and first few paras are mirror images of the Sargent post linked to above. I wanted to show that what the Obama campaign is the exact same type of editing the Romney campaign did. Unlike Sargent I do not think either campaign deceptively edited Obama’s speech.

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