07/25/2012 05:35 pm ET

Mitt Romney, In 2003, Touted Benefits Of Entrepreneurs Using 'Free' Federal Funds

On July 19, Mitt Romney stood at a truck repair shop in Roxbury, Mass. and extolled the virtues of starting your own business.

"The president does, in fact, believe that people who build enterprises like this really aren't responsible for it," he said of the shop's owner, Brian Maloney. "But in fact it's a collective success of the whole society that somehow builds enterprises like this. My view, we have to celebrate people who started enterprises and employ other people."

In an attack on a recent line President Barack Obama made on businesses, Romney said, "this is not the result of government. This is the result of people who take risk, who have dreams, who build for themselves and their families."

Cue the pro-Democratic super PAC American Bridge, which is a powerhouse for opposition research. The group dug up a clip of Romney, speaking in the same urban Boston neighborhood as governor of Massachusetts, touting the benefits of getting "free money" from the federal government on July 24, 2003. Romney promoted the "free money" by noting the fact that Massachusetts, like other high-income states, gets less back from the federal taxes it pays than Mississippi, for instance.

"We need to be much more aggressive in communicating across the state how not-for-profit and other organizations can go about getting these funds, and for-profit organizations and entrepreneurs can get funds if they're willing to invest in one of our communities that meets the federal criteria," he said.

A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on the video.

Romney, now no longer a governor but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has recently warned of the dangers of "free stuff" from the government in his opposition to the president's health care law.

"But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy-more free stuff," he said at a fundraiser following a speech at the NAACP, "But don't forget nothing is really free."



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