In one of the best ads I’ve seen so far this campaign season, one Romney supporter and small business owner hits back at President Obama who claims entrepreneurs owe their success to others.
“Did somebody else take out the loan on my father’s house to finance the equipment? Does somebody else make payroll every week to figure out where it’s coming from? President Obama, you’re killing us out here,” says Jack Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company in Hudson, New Hampshire. “Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it? We are the solution, not the problem.”
Like I said, epic:
Of course just hours after President Obama insisted that business owners “didn’t build that,” the left-wing blogosphere was on damage control, insisting that he didn’t. Take for instance David Taintor of Talking Points Memo who insists Obama’s attack on business owners is little more than a right-wing talking point:
Friday evening, it was a paragraph in President Obama’s speech at Roanoke Fire Station #1 in Virginia. By Tuesday, it was a full-fledged fundraising line for the Romney campaign.
But that wasn’t because the Romney campaign’s opposition research shop immediately seized on the president’s remarks. In fact, it would be three-and-a-half days before the Romney campaign itself made any mention of them. In the interim, what transpired was a textbook case of how a distortion can emerge from right-wing online media, get laundered by Fox News, and go mainstream as a major line of attack by the Republican nominee for President.
And then there’s others, like Salon’s Dave Weigel, who insists that while President Obama may have spoken those words, surely he didn’t mean them:
It’s a rough-hewn clone of Elizabeth Warren’s famed YouTube spiel about how business owners owed much to infrastructure and regulators. But this version is a bit of a ramble, [and] you can tell, because Obama never repeated this riff. And the looseness suggests that Obama left out a sentence or a clause. “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Did he mean that you, small businessman, didn’t build the roads and bridges? And if he didn’t, is it politically offensive to suggest that businesses are built by more than sweat, blood, and John Galt quotes? Maybe, and yes.
But, as Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh points out, this isn’t the first time President Obama has shown his true colors:
Up to this point the presidential election has been Obama vs. Obama Junior. With “You didn’t build that,” which his campaign has made no effort to clarify or redirect, the president has drawn a line in the sand.
There is no nebulousness here. Beyond the paragraph quoted above, Obama calls government spending “the investments that grow our economy.” He ridicules the tendency of Americans to brag about being hard workers with a variant of “So’s your old man.” (“Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”) He instinctively names “a great teacher” when looking for somebody to credit for causing success in the working world. The president has boldly presented his view on how an economy works. His supporters should give him the respect of taking his words seriously.