New Obama Ad: Romney Will Say Anything
The Obama campaign’s new ad is a response to Mitt Romney’s latest distortion of Obama’s words, a distortion now being pushed in full-throated unison by the Romney campaign and every right wing blog and media outlet, as usual. The world’s biggest wingnut echo chamber, all howling at once.
They claim the President said, “If you have a business, you didn’t build it” … leaving out the context of everything he said around those words, which was that business owners need the help of many other people and the government in order to succeed.
This kind of gotcha politics is incredibly tedious, because anyone who can actually read can easily see that the attack dishonestly takes the President’s words out of context, to make it seem like he’s bashing business owners — when he clearly was not.
Could Obama have phrased this better? Probably, but note that the words immediately before and after the cherry-picked phrase make his meaning extremely clear. Instead of focusing on whether the President “misspoke,” the question should really be: “How does Mitt Romney keep getting away with such blatant dishonesty?”
The exact quote from President Obama’s speech, in full: Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Roanoke, Virginia:
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.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
Notice that Obama’s real point was that if you have a business, you didn’t build the “unbelievable American system” or the “roads and bridges” — the support network — that allowed you to thrive. And he goes on to say explicitly that we do “succeed because of our individual initiative.”