At a campaign event on Wednesday, the president seemed to distinguish himself himself from the likely GOP nominee, saying, "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."
During a Thursday interview on "Fox and Friends," Romney criticized Obama, saying it was an attack on his father, George Romney, who was the governor of Michigan and head of the American Motors Corp.:
Well, you know, the President is really taking aim at anybody he can find these days. In fact, in my case, I'm certainly not going to apologize for my dad and his success in life. He was born poor. He worked his way to become very successful despite the fact that he didn't have a college degree. And one of the things he wanted to do was provide for me and for my brother and sisters.
I'm not going to apologize for my dad's success, but I know the president likes to attack fellow Americans. He's always looking for a scapegoat, particularly those [who] have been successful like my dad, and I'm not going to rise to that. This is a time for us to solve problems. This is not a time for us to be attacking people; we should be attacking problems.
And if I'm president, I will stop the attack on fellow Americans. I'll stop the attack on people and start attacking the problems that have been looming over this country.
Watch Romney's response to "silver spoon" comment.
While Obama's "silver spoon" was widely reported as an unnamed jab at Romney, the president has been using the line for years. In an education speech as early as March 17, 2009, Obama referred to himself and Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and John Spratt, "None of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but we got a great education."
In October 2010, he also said of himself and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), "[N]either Harry or I were born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Our families were working folk."
This post has been updated to include background about Obama's earlier use of the silver spoon metaphor.