TAMPA, Fla. -- If there's one phrase the 2012 Republican National Convention will be remembered for, it will be three short words: "we built it."
Virtually every speaker, to take the convention stage has said it -- or some variation -- as a knock on President Barack Obama's now-famous "you didn't build that" line about business owners. It's been a definite crowd-pleaser, drawing applause each time from the convention audience. It was actually the theme Tuesday on a night that featured remarks from successful business owners and even an original song by country singer Lane Turner. The title? "I Built It."
"I love it and I want to say amen [every time I hear it]," Georgia delegate Ralph Hudgens told TheBlaze. "They cheer, they clap...I think it's going to be the theme of the campaign from now on."
Helen Eckman, a North Carolina delegate, said she thinks it's great -- both Obama's initial comment and the GOP's response.
"I think it's perfect, it was a wonderful gift we received from Obama, and I think we should use it as much as possible because it's so true."
Obama made his initial comments on the campaign trail in Virginia last month. Republicans immediately seized on them, with the White House pushing back to insist he had been talking about taxpayer-funded infrastructure. Leonard Spearman, a Texas delegate, disagrees.
"For all his politics he should have known better than to say something like that," Spearman said. "The infrastructure and all that -- that makes the playing field level. After that, then it's up to you, self-determination, willpower…all that's on you to build it."
"It's a rallying cry, I'm sure next week [Democrats will] try to defuse it," he added. "Right now we're going to take it and run with it."
Michael Gonzalez, vice president of communications at the conservative Heritage Found, said the convention is a perfect time to hit the message hard.
"The convention is a time when people who haven't been paying attention begin to pay attention," Gonzalez said. "There's a lot of people who lead busy lives…they have two jobs, they go to Little League games, the pay little attention to what goes on in Washington. Now is when you get the attention of people in the middle."
Shirley Taylor, an Idaho delegate, said it's "a great feeling" to be on the convention floor when someone says it.
"Everybody gets up and cheers and it just makes you feel like we can do that," she said. "It's a feeling of inspiration and enthusiasm to know that America can be better."