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WaPo: 'You Didn't Build It' Comment Damaging Other Democrats

By    |   Thursday, 02 August 2012 03:21 PM

President Barack Obama’s weeks-old comment that business owners “didn’t build that” by themselves is haunting him and fellow Democrats on the campaign trail.

Wherever Obama goes, a local paper or TV station seems to drag up the comment and get local entrepreneurs to trash his statement.

It happened in Colorado when Obama visited this week. “I did build my business, Mr. President, you didn’t,” Martin Mendez of Splash Publications told Denver’s CBS affiliate.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama For Mishandling Economy. See What They Did.

“To me the statement he made truly demonstrates to me that this president doesn’t have an appreciation for what it takes to start or run a business,” added Jack Davis, owner of Advance Surface Technologies.

“I think he thinks the government is the one that subsidizes everything that gets started, and it isn’t,” said Dick Robinson of Robinson Dairy.

Those comments are typical of those from small business owners around the country.

It is not just Obama who is reaping the whirlwind of his remarks. The GOP is losing no opportunity to tie the entire Democratic party to the comments.

Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown attacked his opponent Elizabeth Warren with Obama’s words in an opinion piece for Politico entitled “Entrepreneurs Did Build That.”

“If only leftists like Warren and all Occupy protesters weren’t so wrapped up in taxing and regulating them without end or in denigrating their achievements, these men and women would do even greater things and hire even more workers,” he wrote.

Other GOP politicians have been arranging press conferences with local businessmen to attack Obama. "He hasn't walked in my shoes or any other small businessman's shoes," Todd Gibbs, owner of ASGCO said in a conference in Allentow, PA., organized by Sen. Pat Toomey. "Believe me, this company was not created by the government or any part of the government, nor was it funded by the government. My father and I started this with hard work, long hours, determination, grit…it was hell for two to three years."

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama For Mishandling Economy. See What They Did.

When Obama went to Florida on Thursday, 13 billboards along his route made the message clear to him. The ads, paid for by supporters of his rival Mitt Romney, showcased local entrepreneurs saying, “I built my business.”

And on a trip to Mansfield, Ohio, this week, Republicans brought small business owners to a press conference so the local media would note their views.

“That’s just purely insulting,” said Karl Milliron, who runs a company that recycles auto parts. “We're entrepreneurs. We're risk-takers. We put everything on the line,"

And Mark Romanchuck, the owner of PR Manufacturing, added, “We need to support small-business owners, not attack them,” reported the Mansfield News Journal.

"This president is looking at small-business owners as the next pocket to grab out of," he said

Obama made the comment on July 13 in Roanoke, Va. "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own,” he said.

“I'm always struck by people who think, 'Well, it must be because I was just so smart.' There are a lot of smart people out there. 'It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.' Let me tell you something: There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help."

He mentioned teachers, roads and bridges as examples of help that businesses get from government, before uttering the line that Republicans have since jumped on. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

The Obama campaign consistently says he was quoted out of context, but Romney pointed out that the entirety of the speech is worse than the soundbite.

"Just read the whole speech,” Romney told CNBC. “I found the speech even more disconcerting than just that particular line. The context is worse than the quote."

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama For Mishandling Economy. See What They Did.

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