Tales from the Trail

Business comments taken out of context, Obama says in new ad

By Eric Johnson
July 24, 2012

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.”

Comments
12 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

No he’s backtracking, he said exactly what he meant – small business owners owe the government because they are successful is what he said and the context is actually worse than the one line quote “you didnt build that”

Posted by justinolcb | Report as abusive
 

Here’s the quote, erra, from the horse’s mouth ;) : “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. 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. 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. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
That’s just dumb, and the “let me tell you something” part is insulting, but that’s this guy’s personality i guess.

Posted by justinolcb | Report as abusive
 

our parents, grand parents and back that away invested in the infrastructure he believes government gave to us. cause sir, you sure didn’t build anything.

Posted by lookbuthead | Report as abusive
 

As each day goes by, I feel more and more that our president is not a friend of small business or free enterprise. We run a small family manufacturing business, the middle class of businesses as I like to say, and we are constantly ignored by the politicians.

Unlike the Fortune 500 companies, small businesses do not have the deep pockets to weather through blow after blow to the economy. Perhaps Mr. Obama words are taken out of context when he says things such as “private industry is doing fine” or “if you own a business, you did not build that”.

As articulate and well orated as the president is, he sure does a poor job of choosing his words correctly. Whether he is being taken out of context or not, this is what we are hearing and it is discouraging. Mr. Romney is no better at it either.

Neither candidate has won any confidence from me. I, and many in our little business community, are unimpressed and discouraged that our small businesses will not be important to any politicians other than for tax revenue.

If class division is how they plan to run their campaigns, consider small businesses to be middle class and remember, we pay taxes because we do not have loopholes to get out of it and we don’t have enough money to hide off-shore. We are stuck in the middle and will be the ones to pay the most.

Posted by alwayslearning | Report as abusive
 

Funny how everyone keeps blowing the comments out of proportion. The truth is that we are all in this together and everything we do or accomplish is in fact a culmination of the influence from our parents, mentors, etc. Then there is a support system of education.

No one magically creates something, he does so with the education that he received, with the mentoring of his family and friends, and the financial and opportunity driven evironment of our country.

In that sense no one does anything “all by themselves.” The President was not trying to belittle successful people – just point out that we all get by :with a little help from our friends.”

Posted by Robert76 | Report as abusive
 

@ alwayslearning

The debt the US has now was largely created by the Bush Administration and their policies of spending up large in military/defense budgets and tax cuts for the rich. Failed economic policies overseas are also having their impact on our economy now. Obama has done more to keep and create jobs by keeping the auto industry and banks alive and by helping students with more Pell Grants, than Romney can claim. In making your choice for President this year, look at Romney’s record in Massachusetts, and how his “job creation” plans, put the state at 47th in job creation. He bought companies, bankrupted them, forcing people to lose their jobs, and made 100 Million, 170 Million and 250 Million from 3 companies in one year alone! (yr.2000). Filing bankruptcy would allow these companies to forego paying and redundancy or retirement pay. In his own reports, Romney was still listed as a CEO at Bain during 2000-2002. He had only just assumed his role at the olympics. Despite his involvement with the olympics, he still had considerable influence on Bain Capitol and their decisions. His policies did not work in his own state and the thought of letting him have a go at the entire country is absolutely frightening. VOTE OBAMA, please!

Posted by BuffaloGirl | Report as abusive
 

alwayslearning….As each day goes by, I feel more and more that our president is not a friend of small business or free enterprise.

You mean the forgot the mention that the Obama administration has signed into law 17 tax breaks from small businesses. His action goes against you words. Remember: Actions are always better than words.

Posted by PortlandME | Report as abusive
 

alwayslearning….As each day goes by, I feel more and more that our president is not a friend of small business or free enterprise.

You mean the forgot the mention that the Obama administration has signed into law 17 tax breaks from small businesses. His action goes against you words. Remember: Actions are always better than words.

Posted by PortlandME | Report as abusive
 

alwayslearning….As each day goes by, I feel more and more that our president is not a friend of small business or free enterprise.

You forgot the mention that the Obama administration has signed into law 17 tax breaks from small businesses. His action goes against you words. Remember: Actions are always better than words.

Posted by PortlandME | Report as abusive
 

One man is not that important. This is politics and both will say whatever they think will get them elected. Review the list of promises from 2008. No matter who wins in 2012 in 2016 none of the promises will be accomplished. But how can you vote again for someone who did not keep his promises? Do you blame the other party for not delivering ? Now that is just an excuse.

Posted by whyknot | Report as abusive
 

We all know where his heart lies. He hates the idea that people can and do have independent minds and free spirits. As if we don’t all know that we pay our taxes in order to get back what we give- safe roads, clean water, etc. Does he forget that the government doesn’t do anything without OUR help and monetary contributions. WE are the ones who pool our money together for the obligations our government is supposed to meet. His arrogance is beyond annoying. He needs to take a step back and do some serios self analysis on what the government of our Nation is. The fact that he thinks we should all be grovelling weaklings in order to be granted access to each other’s pooled resources is despicable. He is the most condescending person I have ever heard speak. And he is insulting and degrading to most self sufficient people out there. When he realizes that poverty is not a virtue and some do not wish to be repressed by government labels and perceptions, he will begin to get a glimmer of what a proud, sprited US citizen is. Till then, he lives in a world of his own and I personally have little tolerance or heart for his way of thinking or expressing his personal views and values. He is a pretty doom and gloom kind of a dude. Never says anything collectively uplifting or joyful. He’s always got some retaliation agenda going on. Whatever. Those who have held him in check, thank you! Keep his radical agenda from taking root. We don’t need it.

Posted by QuidProQuo | Report as abusive
 

We all know where his heart lies. He hates the idea that people can and do have independent minds and free spirits. As if we don’t all know that we pay our taxes in order to get back what we give- safe roads, clean water, etc. Does he forget that the government doesn’t do anything without OUR help and monetary contributions. WE are the ones who pool our money together for the obligations our government is supposed to meet. His arrogance is beyond annoying. He needs to take a step back and do some serios self analysis on what the government of our Nation is. The fact that he thinks we should all be grovelling weaklings in order to be granted access to each other’s pooled resources is despicable. He is the most condescending person I have ever heard speak. And he is insulting and degrading to most self sufficient people out there. When he realizes that poverty is not a virtue and some do not wish to be repressed by government labels and perceptions, he will begin to get a glimmer of what a proud, sprited US citizen is. Till then, he lives in a world of his own and I personally have little tolerance or heart for his way of thinking or expressing his personal views and values. He is a pretty doom and gloom kind of a dude. Never says anything collectively uplifting or joyful. He’s always got some retaliation agenda going on. Whatever. Those who have held him in check, thank you! Keep his radical agenda from taking root. We don’t need it.

Posted by QuidProQuo | Report as abusive
 

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