WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House on Thursday said President Barack Obama wasn't talking about Republican Mitt Romney when he said he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama has used the phrase many times to describe his background. Carney says anyone who thinks it might be a reference to them might "be a little over-sensitive."
Romney aggressively defended his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, Thursday morning and accused Obama of attacking success.
"The president likes to attack fellow Americans. He's always looking for a scapegoat, particularly (people who) have been successful like my dad, and I'm not going to rise to that," Romney said on Fox News.
"I'm certainly not going to apologize for my dad and his success in life," Romney said, noting that his father was "born poor."
"This is a time to solve problems. This is not a time for us to be attacking people. We should be attacking problems," he said.
Romney, a multimillionaire, grew up in a wealthy Detroit suburb while his father was president of automaker American Motors and eventually governor. George Romney was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at a young age.
Romney's campaign has said the candidate earned his wealth on his own after getting a business degree at Harvard University and entering the financial world. On the campaign trail, Romney sometimes points out that he didn't inherit money from his father.
Obama made the silver spoon comment during a speech Wednesday at an Ohio community college.