The “You Didn’t Build That” Attacks Failed

Ryan and Romney message FAIL

There is an interesting finding in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Apparently, the Republican attacks against President Obama based on his “you didn’t build that” line have been a dud. From NBC News:

The poll – which was conducted Sept. 26-30 – comes after intense scrutiny and TV-ad attacks on Romney’s “47 percent” comment, in which he said that percentage of Americans don’t pay income taxes, are dependent on government, and believe that they are victims.

After hearing a full description of that comment, 45 percent of registered voters said it gave them a more negative impression of the GOP presidential nominee, versus 23 percent who had a more positive view.

By contrast, when the same respondents were read a full description of Obama’s “You didn’t build that” line – comments Republicans seized on to portray the president as anti-business – 36 percent had a positive reaction and 32 percent had a negative reaction.

Not only have Republicans spent millions on ads based around this attack, they also made it the entire theme of their national convention. That was basically millions of dollars worth of “free media” they decided to use to advance a message that didn’t resonate. Time that could have been better used on a convention theme which could have produced a bounce for Romney.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at