Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

NBC: Romney Campaign 'Right Back Where it Started...On the Defensive'

Despite Mitt Romney clearly going on the offensive by seizing on President Obama's gaffe that business owners "didn't build" their businesses, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander dismissed it as a futile effort: "...the Romney campaign right back where it started the day...on the defensive."

Early in the report, Alexander did his best to downplay Obama's comment that: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen." Alexander spun that Obama made the remark,"While outlining his vision of American progress as a partnership between business and government last Friday."

Alexander portrayed Romney's use of the President's misstep as merely an attempt to change the subject: "With both sides angling for any advantage, Romney today pounced....The Romney campaign is fighting to redirect the debate, away from his tax returns and tenure at Bain Capital."

While seeming to brush aside Obama's stumble, Alexander was eager to jump on Romney supporter and former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, who "briefly changed the subject today, but not the way he intended." A sound bite played of Sununu: "I wish this president would learn how to be an American." After noting that Sununu "tried to clarify" the comment, Alexander touted: "...an Obama campaign spokeswoman weighed in, writing, 'The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end.'"

Alexander justified his declaration of Romney being stuck on defense by highlighting: "...the conservative magazine National Review complicated things for the Romney campaign, echoing Obama campaign calls for Romney to release more tax runs. And Texas Governor Rick Perry said candidates should be as transparent as they can..."

Still looking for ways to keep Romney on defense on Wednesday's Today, Alexander proclaimed:

By the way, speaking of potential vice presidents, John McCain raised some eyebrows when he explained why four years ago he picked Sarah Palin over Mitt Romney, saying she was a, quote, "better candidate." On Tuesday, McCain took on reporters, he was angry that his words were twisted around, insisting that he meant that Palin, Matt, was the best fit for his campaign.

Here is a full transcript of Alexander's July 17 report:

7:11PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: On the campaign trail in this country today, Mitt Romney opened up a new line of attack on President Obama, accusing him of insulting business leaders. And one Romney supporter went even further than that. Our report tonight from NBC's Peter Alexander.

PETER ALEXANDER: An unusually animated Mitt Romney today seized on some of President Obama's own words, charging that they reveal an anti-business bias.

MITT ROMNEY: If you want to understand why his policies have failed, why what he has done has not created jobs or rising incomes in America, you can look at what he said.

ALEXANDER: What did the President say? While outlining his vision of American progress as a partnership between business and government last Friday, he included this line.

BARACK OBAMA: If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen.

ALEXANDER: With both sides angling for any advantage, Romney today pounced.

ROMNEY: To say something like that is not just foolishness, it's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America, and it's wrong.

ALEXANDER: And he added this about the President's view of the role of government services in economic development.

ROMNEY: We pay for those things, alright? The taxpayers pay for government.

ALEXANDER: The Romney campaign is fighting to redirect the debate, away from his tax returns and tenure at Bain Capital.

NARRATOR [OBAMA AD]: Tax havens, offshore accounts, carried interest. Mitt Romney has used every trick in the book.

ALEXANDER: Romney surrogate John Sununu briefly changed the subject today, but not the way he intended.

JOHN SUNUNU: I wish this president would learn how to be an American.

ALEXANDER: Challenged by reporters, Sununu later tried to clarify.

SUNUNU: The president has to learn the American formula for creating business.

ALEXANDER: Still, an Obama campaign spokeswoman weighed in, writing, "The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end." And late today, the conservative magazine National Review complicated things for the Romney campaign, echoing Obama campaign calls for Romney to release more tax runs. And Texas Governor Rick Perry said candidates should be as transparent as they can, leaving the Romney campaign right back where it started the day, Brian, on the defensive.

WILLIAMS: Peter Alexander in our D.C. newsroom tonight. Peter, thanks.