Election 2012

Obama Regrets 'Syntax' of 'Didn't Build That' Comment

US President Barack Obama waves as he walks across the South Lawn upon return to the White House.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Barack Obama says he regrets the wording he used in his "didn't build that" speech that Republicans have used as their own rallying cry.

He told a WWBT-TV in Norfolk, Va., that he has "regrets" for his "syntax."

But he said he stands by the point he was making in the campaign speech last month that the government has provided strong support to small businesses. And he said, "Everyone who was there knows exactly what I was saying."

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Republicans have said Obama overstated the importance of government's role in helping businesses succeed.

GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan took aim at the comment again Thursday, saying government shouldn't get the credit for the achievements of business owners.