President Obama used a Rose Garden news conference with the president of Mexico and prime minister of Canada to reject the political argument of his likely Republican opponent that he's insufficiently committed to the notion of American exceptionalism.
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, in a speech to conservatives in a suburb of Wisconsin on Saturday, continued a line of attack that has been made by other Republicans during the primary battle, saying Obama "doesn't have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do."
"And I think over the last three or four years, some people around the world have begun to question that," the former Massachusetts governor said, according to the Washington Post. "On this Tuesday, we have an opportunity -- you have an opportunity -- to vote, and take the next step in bringing back that special nature of being American."
Obama dismissed the criticism Monday as typical of the charged rhetoric of a primary campaign.
"It's worth noting that I first arrived on the national stage with a speech at the Democratic convention that was entirely about American exceptionalism, and that my entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism," Obama said. "But, you know, I will cut folks some slack for now, because they're still trying to get their nomination."
Indeed, while Obama did not use the term "American exceptionalism" in that 2004 convention speech in Boston, he spoke of his parents' "abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation."
"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible," he said.
Original source: Obama dismisses Romney charge on belief in American exceptionalism