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September 20, 2012

Obama on Redistribution of Wealth

Mitt Romney this week has jumped on a 14-year-old clip of Barack Obama speaking about "redistribution" of wealth at a 1998 conference in Chicago.

However, NBC News "has obtained the entirety of the relevant remarks, which includes additional comments by Obama that weren't included in the video circulated by Republicans. That omission features additional words of praise for 'competition' and the 'marketplace' by the then-state senator."

Obama, from the whole clip: "I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities."

Maggie Haberman: "It's a bit different than when the first sentence is isolated. Obama was making two parallel pitches, for market competition and pooled resources, in a fashion similar to how he has at other points in his career... That line is one Obama almost certainly wishes he could get back - but it's also why video archives of him talking about redistribution is unlikely to surprise swaths of voters."


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