RNC: “We Built This Convention on . . . Public Funds . . .”

The memo posted below was put out earlier today by MessageMatters, a daily messaging service of Media Matters Action (with contributions by FD’s own Eric Sapp).  Tim Beach-Verhey has already done an excellent job of covering the manufactured controversy around the President’s remarks about how we built this country by working together, and of exploring the theological underpinnings of the two competing views of America that are being put forward.  Rather than restating his arguments here, I’ll just strongly encourage you to read his piece.  My favorite part is this:

We imagine ultimate perfection and ultimate satisfaction can be found in splendid isolation from the difficulties of life together. But this is not the way God made us or the end for which God created us.  ”It is not good that man should be alone,” God said. We were made for community with one another in communion with God.

As for the irony of the Republican’s choice for their convention site, I’ll let that speak for itself.

Convention Built On A Lie Exposes The Truth

The Republican Party is adopting “We Built It” as a convention theme — a catch-phrase built on the Fox News-fueled distortion of the President’s remarks tying American infrastructure and education to the success of businesses. Ironically, the publicly-financed, publicly-owned site Republicans chose for the convention exposes the truth: We all built America together.


The Republican convention is built on a lie but exposes the truth: We built America together.

Connect: We need leaders with honor, not politicians who deceive and divide us to gain power.

Define: The Republican convention is built on a lie but exposes the truth: No one succeeds on their own. America was built by Americans — individuals, businesses, and our government working together.

Debunk: The convention arena they are meeting in was publicly financed. Our public safety system will protect them from the storms, and our transportation system will take them there. They didn’t build it. WE all did.

Expose: Even Mitt Romney admits that “a lot of people help you in a business” — the “people who provide roads, the fire, the police.” But he’s still distorting the President’s remarks for political gain.

Bottom line: Romney needs to come clean about what the President actually said, that he agrees with it, and that the Republican convention site — financed and owned by the public — proves the President is right.

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  • The Republican Party’s national convention will be held next week at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida — an arena that was constructed with $80 million worth of city and county bonds backed in part by taxes.
  • The Forum is now actually owned by the county government, which then leases it back to the Tampa Bay Sports Authority. The Authority itself was created as a public agency in 1965.
  • The Republican Party received over $18 million from American taxpayers to help pay for their convention.
  • The Republican convention site received $50 million in federal grants for convention security, which is reportedly being spent on “extra police, technology, vehicles, uniforms and gear.”

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About Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson is an Associate with the Eleison Group, a consulting firm that specializes in faith-based outreach for Democrats and progressives. She also serves as Programs Director for the American Values Network, a faith-based non-profit advocacy group. Prior to Eleison, Rachel worked as Mississippi field director for Common Good Strategies doing faith outreach for Democratic candidates. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a MAR in Theology from Yale Divinity School. The daughter of two ministers, Rachel is an active member and deacon in her church in Washington, D.C.