Obama, Romney not letting up on "you didn't build that"

White House hopeful Mitt Romney (L) listens as Ruth Lopez, CEO of Beverly Oncology and Imaging (R) speaks during a small-business roundtable discussion at Endural, a manufacturer of plastic containers, on July 23, 2012 in Costa Mesa, California. Romney trades his bruising campaign battle with US President Barack Obama for the world stage this week when he embarks on a diplomatic mission to meet the leaders of Britain, Israel and Poland. The six-day overseas trip, his first since clinching the Republican Party's nomination in April, will provide Romney with the chance to drill into Obama's foreign policy.AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages) FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages
(CBS News) To say Mitt Romney's recent attacks criticizing President Obama for saying "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" have struck a chord, that might be a bit of an understatement. And both campaigns are digging in their heels, with the president launching an aggressive defense, while Romney's camp continues to go full throttle on the attack.

Romney himself is traveling overseas but his supporters are fanning out over 12 battleground states Wednesday, holding 24 events with local elected officials and business owners challenging the president's statement.

Meantime, the Obama campaign has stepped up its defense, launching a wide-scale response featuring direct, repeated responses from the president himself at events and in a new television ad

"Those ads, taking my words about small business out of context, they're flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses," Mr. Obama said in his new TV ad, referring to Romney's ads attacking him. "What I said was is that we need to stand behind them as America has."

At fundraisers Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Obama also addressed the issue. "Earlier today, Gov. Romney was at it again," Obama said to boos, at a fundraiser in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday. "Knowingly twisting my words to suggest I don't value small business. Although, when folks like omit entire sentences of what you said, they start kind of splicing and dicing, you may have gone a little over the edge there. But there's actually a real choice there."

A campaign spokesperson Wednesday rejected the idea that they are worried about the impact of the Romney attacks, but said they learned a "cautionary tale" from the Romney campaign, which did not respond to Obama-launched attacks about Bain Capital, not to let attacks go unanswered.

The Obama campaign also says they are holding numerous events in battleground states countering the Romney campaign's efforts.

"We are pushing back on this aggressively," an Obama campaign spokesperson said, calling it a "robust" response.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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