"Government didn't build my business, I DID."
That was the pro-Mitt Romney message on the T-shirt Davenport, Iowa, deli co-owner Ross Murty wore when he went to work on Wednesday. Nothing unusual, especially in a campaign season—except he was serving food to the traveling White House press corps during President Barack Obama's visit to the town.
It's a reference to Obama's remarks at a July rally in Virginia, where he argued that government investments in infrastructure and education as well as "this unbelievable American system" made it possible for entrepreneurs to succeed. Romney's campaign has turned those remarks into a potent political attack.
Murty gamely posed behind a pasta dish and pulled pork for pictures by reporters accompanying the president on his trip. Obama campaign aides did not comment on the record.
While the White House travel office arranges for food for traveling journalists, media outlets foot the bill.
The Des Moines Register reports that Murty's business partner is a Democrat.