Business comments taken out of context, Obama says in new ad
President Barack Obama’s campaign released a new television advertisement on Tuesday pushing back against a wave of attacks that followed remarks the Democratic incumbent made that Republicans deemed anti-business.
The 30-second advertisement — “Always” — will air in six battleground states and is the second in as many days featuring a regal Obama speaking directly into a camera — a far cry from the campaign’s hard-hitting ads, marked by ominous narrators and elaborate graphic design, portraying Mitt Romney as a ruthless former private equity executive whose personal finances are shrouded in secrecy.
In the ad, the president is seen fighting back — calmly, authoritatively — against a barrage of attacks by Romney, his campaign, and wider Republicans who seized on a fragment of Obama’s speech in Virginia on July 13 when he said, “If you own a business, you didn’t build that.”
Obama said his words were taken out of context, that he was conveying a sense of economic togetherness and that successful business owners have been helped at some point by the public sector — through public education, government-funded projects and investments, and physical and legal infrastructure allowing their goods to travel safely to market.
“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context; they’re flat out wrong,” Obama says in the ad, which will air in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada. “Of course Americans build their own business. Every day hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run.”
“And what I said was that we need to stand behind them as America always has. By investing in education, training, roads and bridges, research and technology,” he added.
Obama’s words were echoed by Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal, who is hosting a fundraiser for the president in Seattle at his home on Tuesday night. The fundraiser includes a business roundtable and dinner and could raise more than $1.75 million for the campaign and its allies.
“You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn’t support small business owners,” Sinegal wrote in an email on behalf of the Obama campaign, according to ABC’s Devin Dwyer. “But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative – because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and we can’t do it alone.”
This advertisement and the one the campaign released on Monday, which shows the president speaking pensively about the disparate visions he and his rival have for the country and “The Choice” voters face in November, are reminiscent of Obama’s tone from the 2008 campaign.
“Sometimes politics can seem very small,” Obama says in the 60-second spot that is set to air in the same battleground states mentioned above, plus Colorado, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. “But the choice you face, it couldn’t be bigger.”