President Barack Obama is starting to rue his “You didn’t build that” line, directed at business owners, as Republicans make him pay the price for it on the campaign trail.
"Obviously I have regrets for my syntax,” Obama told WWBT-TV
of Richmond, Va., Wednesday. To be sure, he stands by his point, “because everyone who was there watching knows exactly what I was saying."
In a July 13 speech in Roanoke, Va., the president said, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Republicans have made great political hay saying the comments show Obama is anti-business.
Despite his admission of a faux pas in wording, Obama defends his small business policy, saying the government has supported entrepreneurs, boosting economic growth and hiring.
"We are absolutely better off than we were when I was sworn in and we were losing 800,000 jobs in a month," the president said. But Democrats have struggled to make that case.
And top Republicans say Obama is just flat out wrong. "The facts are unemployment [at 8.3 percent] is too high. The president didn't fix that problem," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. "Spending is too high. He didn't fix that problem."
Even Obama acknowledges he has a long way to go. “Obviously, we have much more to do," the president said. "That is true here in Virginia and that is true all across the country."
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