Mitt Romney said he would have been unable to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, had it not been for the "enormous spending and services of the federal government."
The words, uttered by Romney in 2002, are in direct contrast to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's relentless attacks on President Barack Obama over his "you didn't build that" comments.
Romney and Republicans have spent the last month knocking Obama as government-obsessed and for crediting Washington with the success of small businesses. But by the former Massachusetts governor's own admission, it was only with the government's support that he was able to pull off the Olympics he so often heralds as one of his career's greatest accomplishments.Of course, everyone by now knows that Romney got over a billion dollars in aid from the Feds, but there's another bit of salience to this news. The first rule of Right Club is, you don't talk about the government's involvement in Right Club. Republicans don't mind sucking off the government's teat (whether it's state, local, or federal) for any amount of money. What they DO mind is having to acknowledge it. And here's Mitt, proudly stating that he couldn't have done what he did without the strangling arm of big government.
"Without question, we simply could not host Games in Salt Lake if it were not for the enormous spending and services of the federal government," Romney had said in a 2001 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing around cooperation between federal, state, local and private agencies for the Salt Lake City Olympics.
"When I came to the Games two years ago, following the revelations of bid impropriety, there was nothing which caused greater anxiety than whether or not we could count on this critical federal support," he said, before thanking both the Clinton and Bush administrations for being involved with his committee's planning efforts "every step of the way."
There sadly hasn't been much focus on Romney's big government handling of the Olympics so far, so hopefully something like this will make the issue more well known. Romney can't talk about his record as governor of Massachusetts, or his record at Bain, and his role in the Olympics was essentially his last line of defense. Without that, what else is left?