The president’s astonishing and revealing comments in Virginia last weekend have trickled up from the conservative blogosphere to center stage in the 2012 presidential campaign. A reinvigorated Mitt Romney has seized on the remarks, parlaying the president’s candid expression of his government-centric worldview into a focused and effective line of attack. The Obama campaign, meanwhile, is mired in negative attacks and petty controversies. The bottom hasn’t fallen out of their polling yet, but things aren’t looking robust either. Desperate to beat back Romney’s surge in confidence and clarity, the Left has taken to claiming that conservatives are taking Obama’s words “out of context.” One of the Washington Post’s in-house liberal bloggers, Greg Sargent, is one of many advancing that case. But the Examiner’s Phil Klein is having none of it, pointing out that the full context of Obama’s comment actually reinforces the thesis over which Romney is battering Obama:

Obama’s defenders argue the “that” in “you didn’t build that” refers to “roads and bridges.” I’m not so sure we can make that assumption, given that “business” is the noun that directly precedes the pronoun “that.” But I don’t necessarily disagree with the general interpretation offered by liberals that Obama’s intention was to argue that government helps create the environment which allows people to build businesses. Even if we were to give Obama the benefit of the doubt in this paragraph, however, it doesn’t get him of the hook. The real damaging passage is the one that comes directly before the one cited above, in which Obama said: