“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – President Obama, July 13, 2012, Roanoke, Virginia.
The above quote is 100 percent accurate. You can even go to the White House’s own website, click on Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Roanoke, Virginia, and it will appear, clear as day in black and white.
And that fact is a mortal threat to Obama’s reelection effort.
How else to explain the Obama campaign’s full court press attempting to deny he ever made the quote this week. First, in Oakland, California, Obama complained that, “Governor Romney … knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses.” Then, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter released a two-and-a-half minute video claiming Romney “blatantly twists President Obama’s words on small business owners and entrepreneurs.” And finally, Obama is launching a 30-second ad that will air in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, in which he claims, “Those ads taking my words about small business out of context, they are flat out wrong.”
“What I said was that we need to stand behind them as America always has,” Obama says directly into the camera. Really? Is that what Obama said? Here is more context from Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech pulled directly from the White House website: “Look, 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.”
Is this Obama’s idea of “standing behind” small business owners? By belittling their intelligence and hard work?
Obama’s “you didn’t build that” quote is resonating with voters because it is such a cogent crystallization of what Democrats have been arguing for over 80 years. As The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler noted, President Roosevelt told Congress in 1935: “People know that vast personal incomes come not only through the effort or ability or luck of those who receive them, but also because of the opportunities for advantage which Government itself contributes. Therefore, the duty rests upon the Government to restrict such incomes by very high taxes.”
Roosevelt, Obama, and the Democrats believe that businesses succeed when the federal government takes a more active role in education, infrastructure, health care, retirement, etc. etc. Romney, Reagan, and Republicans believe the opposite: that businesses succeed better when many if not all of these functions are best left to states and the private sector.
The extent to which small business owners “built that” is a key point in this debate. And Romney is right to start the conversation there.
Polls: A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 43 percent.
Obama: Campaigning in Portland, Oregon, Obama thanked gay porn king Terry Bean for organizing the reelection campaign fundraiser he was speaking at.
Romney: In a speech that received a standing ovation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars crowd, Romney accused Obama for betraying the country by leaking national security secrets for his own political gain and attacked him for supporting “radical cuts” to defense that “would be devastating” to our national security.
In Other News
USA Today, Stocks drop for a third day as outlook darkens: The Dow Jones industrials fell 104 points to 12,617 on Tuesday, capping a more than 300-point decline in the past three sessions. The selling continued after Moody’s Investors Service cut its outlook Monday on Germany’s debt from stable to negative.
The Wall Street Journal, Fed Moves Closer to Action: Since their June policy meeting, Federal Reserve officials have made clear—in interviews, speeches and testimony to Congress—that they find the current state of the economy unacceptable. Many officials appear increasingly inclined to move unless they see evidence soon that activity is picking up on its own.
The New York Times, N.Y. Fed quiet on Barclays’ admission of rigging Libor: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner claims he told regulators about problems with Libor, but Geithner, did not communicate to regulators that Barclays had admitted it was rigging Libor, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Wall Street Journal, One in 10 U.S. Employers to Drop Health Coverage: Around one in 10 employers in the U.S. plans to drop health coverage for workers in the next few years as the bulk of the federal health-care law begins, and more indicated they may do so over time, according to a study to be released Tuesday by consulting company Deloitte.
The New York Times, Court’s Ruling May Blunt Reach of the Health Law: The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care overhaul would probably lead to an increase in the number of uninsured and a modest reduction in the cost to the federal government when compared with estimates before the court ruling.
Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala, and Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are urging the Obama administration to submit to Congress and the American people a detailed plan as to how sequestration will be applied to defense and non-defense programs within the federal budget.
At Forbes, Avik Roy exposes how blue states provide Medicaid for more citizens by paying doctors less.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., notes that our financial system is only worse two years after Dodd-Frank became law and calls for its repeal.
Daily Kos‘ Laura Clawson notes that a Romney campaign press release hitting Obama on national security leaks quotes an adviser who gave an assist in the Valerie Plame leak.
Slate‘s Matthew Yglesias tackles The Myth of the Libertarian Internet.
Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler reports that Democrats think they have set a trap for Republicans on tax cuts.