Obama: Hey, Romney’s taking my “you didn’t build that” line out of context

posted at 11:21 am on July 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How can you tell when a campaign knows it has stepped into quagmire?  It shifts to defense and starts complaining about context.  After several days of attempting to defend his “you didn’t build that” remark, Barack Obama shifted last night to a defense that originated with some of his on-line apologists — that Mitt Romney took his remark out of context:

The president, after taking a few-day hiatus from campaigning along with Romney out of respect for the victims of the Colorado mass shooting, set out on a round of fundraisers where he tried again to douse the still-simmering controversy over his ill-phrased remarks on business in America.

Speaking in Oakland Monday night, he said Romney knowingly “twisted my words around” to imply he didn’t care about small business.

The fundraiser remarks marked the latest effort by the Obama campaign to claim Romney pulled his quote out of context. The Obama campaign released a web video titled “Tampered” on Monday that made the same point.

However, the campaign did not initially mount this argument. In the days immediately following the comments, in which the president suggested businesses owe their success in large part to government, the campaign defended the president’s remarks — without claiming they were taken out of context.

Jen Rubin writes this morning that the campaign has run off the rails:

How did Obama get so cross-wise with public opinion and wind up at odds with one of the most popular institutions in America? Well, he became convinced he had to personally destroy Romney. He thereby let the anti-business assaults become the campaign. Meanwhile, his affection for government become a chip on his shoulder, prompting him to dare those private-sector wise guys to deny the centrality of government in their success. Yikes.

The Obama people argue simultaneously that he was taken out of context and that his denigration of individual effort is still valid. (“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.”) A more skilled politician like Bill Clinton could pull that off, but Obama? I doubt it.

He better hope undecided voters aren’t paying so much attention. Otherwise, his anti-business animus could well be his undoing.

As Romney pointed out yesterday in an interview with CNBC, the context Obama claims makes the quote even worse:

“The context, he says, you know, you think you’ve been successful because you’re smart, but he says a lot of people are smart. You think you’ve been successful because you work hard, a lot of people work hard. This is an ideology which says hey, we’re all the same here, we ought to take from all and give to one another and that achievement, individual initiative and risk-taking and success are not to be rewarded as they have in the past,” Romney said. “It’s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy.”

It’s actually even worse than that.  The context which Obama claims is that he was talking about small business owners not building the infrastructure, not their businesses.  But who pays for infrastructure?  Government doesn’t pull the money off the magic trees of the Progressive Sunshine Forest; they take capital from taxpayers, either current or (increasingly) future taxpayers.  Small businesses generate a large amount of that tax base, thanks to the point-of-sale transactions conducted and the labor they use, as well as property taxes and the like.  If anyone should get credit for the infrastructure for successful markets, it’s the small businessman.  Even in context, Obama and Elizabeth Warren treat small businesses like parasites rather than the foundation for the economy which makes all their beloved infrastructure possible at all.

Michael Ramirez turns his expert eye on this particular aspect of the context, and identifies with his Pulitzer Prize-winning skill who the real parasites are:

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.

And a heads-up — Ramirez will have a new book out soon.  We’ll have more on that later this summer.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

ChicagoJewishGuy on July 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

My bad buddy. :(

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

I don’t have to explain sh*t.

Red Green on July 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

And you prove it here on a daily basis!

A+

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

ZIIINNG!!!

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Could you have an Internet start-up without the Internet?

Typhonsentra on July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

No, but you can’t get the Internet without an Internet Service Provider.

And the very first ISP on the planet, which began in 1989, was and still is a private company. It’s called The World, and it’s still headquartered in the Boston area.

F-

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Americans hate whiners.

Obama knows enough to whine behind our backs. Romney on the other hand runs to Fox News and whines to the American people.

Uppereastside on July 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

So….Obama owns just about every media outlet but FOX,Rush Limbaugh and pals and conservative bloggers…

Can’t blame Romney for speaking out on the #1 Media outlet in the TeeVee Universe.

It’s called a smart strategy.

Exploit an opponent’s weakness and Obama handed it to Romney

workingclass artist on July 24, 2012 at 3:48 PM

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Forgiven. Send money for lunch and drinks and we’ll pretend it never happened.

ChicagoJewishGuy on July 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Could you have an Internet start-up without the Internet?

Typhonsentra on July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The Internet wasn’t crafted for private use. This comes from a quote in the ARPANet handbook, via zombie:

It is considered illegal to use the ARPANet for anything which is not in direct support of Government business….Sending electronic mail over the ARPANet for commercial profit or political purposes is both anti-social and illegal.

Here’s our buddy zombie on the whole Internet-as-government-goodie:

http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2012/07/18/the-ultimate-takedown-of-obamas-you-didnt-build-that-speech/?singlepage=true

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

You must have had summer school yesterday, or you would have been here when Del was spanking one of your fellow trolls who kept posting the entire quote and daring him to parse it.

Funny thing was, every time he posted it, it wasn’t looking any better for your one true love.

And you’re asking for an explanation from me?

I don’t have to explain to sh-t.

CurtZHP on July 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Forgiven. Send money for lunch and drinks and we’ll pretend it never happened.

ChicagoJewishGuy on July 24, 2012 at 3:51 PM

:)

See you at Mardi Gras, corner of Bourbon and Canal Street. I’ll be the drunk with the beads.

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Yeah Romney’s not driving any of this – except when he’s brought it up at every speech since the words left Obama’s mouth and were mangled beyond all recognition.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Hahaha. Drywall, I cannot imagine what a living hell your life is. We can see you shake in rage in every one of your posts.

Chuck Schick on July 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

EVERY small business should take a 2 week vacation as a direct result of o’commies remarks. Let’s see how the communist pr1ck deals with a shortfall of billions because small businesses decide to take a break from his pounding his communist manifesto down everyone’s throats.

Then lets see how many bills don’t get paid, how many banks suffer, how his utopian full of BS campaign falters, and on and on until the stinking son of a butch apologizes for his efforts to destroy this country with his communist ways of fantasy life.

Nooses are too good for commies.

Wolfmoon on July 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Obama’s statement that ‘you had a great teacher along the way’ is also outrageous.
1) as if a ‘great teacher’ is a rare and lucky thing.
2) as if great teachers can make a kid and terrible teachers can break one. Who judges that this teacher did good work? Isn’t there a heavily Democratic union that dedicates their life to preserving lousy teachers in their jobs?
3) as if LOUSY teachers mean you’re doomed? What this boils down to is…just like roads and bridges…all kids have teachers, not all kids turn out the same. It’s the INDIVIDUAL that makes the difference.

MAC1000 on July 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Could you have an Internet start-up without the Internet?

Typhonsentra on July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

AGAIN, the government did not create the INTERnet, which connect DIFFERENT networks. If you want to credit the government with creating the INTRAnet, fine, but the two are not the same.

And, no, the government didn’t build the INTERcontinental railroad either, as Obama claims.

Resist We Much on July 24, 2012 at 4:15 PM

The cool thing about it is Romney isn’t driving any of this.

Axe on July 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM
——-

Yeah Romney’s not driving any of this – except when he’s brought it up at every speech since the words left Obama’s mouth and were mangled beyond all recognition.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

The whole country would be talking about this if Romney never mentioned it. It’s being driven by the grassroots. We would be asking ourselves why he wasn’t running with it — which is what he’s doing, running with it.

If you refuse to understand simple things, try not to talk to me.

Axe on July 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Could you have an Internet start-up without the Internet?

Typhonsentra on July 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

AOL, CompuServe, Delphi and the thousands of private BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) that have been around since the 1980′s all say YES.

Microsoft & Apple took it to that level when they created the GUI, so all you lazy folks didn’t have to remember command works like PEEK, POKE, Format & Directory.

Of course, they took the concept of the INTRAnet and folded it back outwards into the INTERnet.

BlaxPac on July 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM

The cool thing about it is Romney isn’t driving any of this.

Axe on July 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM
——-

Yeah Romney’s not driving any of this – except when he’s brought it up at every speech since the words left Obama’s mouth and were mangled beyond all recognition.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

The whole country would be talking about this if Romney never mentioned it. It’s being driven by the grassroots. We would be asking ourselves why he wasn’t running with it — which is what he’s doing, running with it.

If you refuse to understand simple things, try not to talk to me.

Axe on July 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM
——–
People are driving it.
Romney is driving it.
You said he’s not driving it.
That is stupid.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:33 PM

People are driving it.
Romney is driving it.
You said he’s not driving it.
That is stupid.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:33 PM

It’s true. Strictly speaking, by running with it, he becomes one of the drivers. I used “at all” in my sentence and apparently confused you. This might help you next time:

hyperbole
[hahy-pur-buh-lee]
hy·per·bo·le
noun Rhetoric.
1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

Axe on July 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

I don’t have to explain sh*t.

I don’t believe you could.

Bmore on July 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

That is stupid.

Yes, that is.

Bmore on July 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Yeah Romney’s not driving any of this – except when he’s brought it up at every speech since the words left Obama’s mouth and were mangled beyond all recognition.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

When you’re given a fantastic gift, you display it on a platinum platter.

When you’re given lemons, you make lemonade.

Now, a smart one like you knows this, and if it were reversed you’d be orgasmic, you hypocrite.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

It w/b stupid not to drive it.

Drive it, 24/7, unrelentingly, until Nov. 7., 20012.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Obama expressed his true collectivist beliefs.

Why does he and his sycophants run from it?

You all should be proud.

Or is it that you know how evil and stupid his worldview is so you must lie and distort to advance it?

You lack integrity, credibility, and pretty much any other positive moral human quality.

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Obama expressed his true collectivist beliefs.

Why does he and his sycophants run from it?

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Because the thuggish charlatan wants the masses/stupid moochers to read it as he said it, and the indies and other fools to read it in a variety of nuances, as they ‘need’ it, so long as they pull the voting trigger for him. After that he’ll scroom all royally.

This is the biggest charlatan that ever lived.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Obama: Hey, Romney’s taking my “you didn’t build that” line out of context

Lunatic-left d-cRAT socialist extremists actually think that REALITY is whatever they say it is: Don’t believe your eyes or your ears – believe only socialist extremists.

TeaPartyNation on July 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Obama expressed his true collectivist beliefs.

Why does he and his sycophants run from it?

You all should be proud.

Or is it that you know how evil and stupid his worldview is so you must lie and distort to advance it?

You lack integrity, credibility, and pretty much any other positive moral human quality.

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM
——
Of course everything Obama said was true. Doesn’t make it evil. It just means that your society does tons of sh*t that helps business prosper. Nobody does it on their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t get 95% of the credit for all the blood, sweat and tears and the success that came with it. But to thump your chest and say nothing out there in society or the government helped you with your business is beyond hilarious.

And that flies right over the head of the clown in his commercial who got tons of government assistance for his business.

And it flew right over the heads of everybody involved in making the commercial since it didn’t dawn upon them that the shit Obama was talking about is exactly the f*cking things Gilchrist benefitted from as a small businessman.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Obama expressed his true collectivist beliefs.

Why does he and his sycophants run from it?

You all should be proud.

Or is it that you know how evil and stupid his worldview is so you must lie and distort to advance it?

You lack integrity, credibility, and pretty much any other positive moral human quality.

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

It is interesting that so much of the liberal response on this is a defense of Obama’s words at face value, and a simultaneous plea that his words didn’t mean what they seem to mean.

BlueCollarAstronaut on July 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Obama expressed his true collectivist beliefs.

Why does he and his sycophants run from it?

tom daschle concerned on July 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Van Jones didn’t.

AshleyTKing on July 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

I liked Krauthammer’s (I think it was) response to this. No one’s denying that we all benefit by standing on the shoulders of the giants that preceded us…it’s not so much incorrect, but rather banal to belabor that point. Obama’s speech, however, didn’t simply point it out, he belittled the work of present-day giants to in order to made a collectivist/statist argument, which is both wrong-minded and arbitrary.

BlueCollarAstronaut on July 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Then, by all means, tell him to sing it loud and proud, brutha, because — by an overwhelming margin (73%) — the American people believe that small business owners “did build that.”

In the top 25 markets, there are 3.13 million small businesses, i.e., businesses with less than 100 employees.

Do the math and continue the insults.

“They think they’re so smart…so hardworking…they didn’t build that…”

Yeah, baby, yeah!

Resist We Much on July 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Of course everything Obama said was true. Doesn’t make it evil. It just means that your society does tons of sh*t that helps business prosper. Nobody does it on their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t get 95% of the credit for all the blood, sweat and tears and the success that came with it. But to thump your chest and say nothing out there in society or the government helped you with your business is beyond hilarious

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Obama’s quote again for you Drywall:


If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Obama’s saying YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT. That’s a pretty far cry from you saying business owners get to claim 95% of it.

Chuck Schick on July 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Obama’s statement that ‘you had a great teacher along the way’ is also outrageous.
1) as if a ‘great teacher’ is a rare and lucky thing.
2) as if great teachers can make a kid and terrible teachers can break one. Who judges that this teacher did good work? Isn’t there a heavily Democratic union that dedicates their life to preserving lousy teachers in their jobs?
3) as if LOUSY teachers mean you’re doomed? What this boils down to is…just like roads and bridges…all kids have teachers, not all kids turn out the same. It’s the INDIVIDUAL that makes the difference.

MAC1000 on July 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

A++

Everyone has had a “great teacher”, but everyone has also had a crappy one.

I was fortunate enough to have a “great teacher” in elementary school, a “great teacher” in junior high”, a “great teacher” in high school, and a “great teacher” in college. But none of them behaved as if they were anything special, or acted in a condescending manner towards their students. They all genuinely loved what they were doing.

On the other hand, in each of those grade levels except for junior high I also had a Crappy Teacher. And without exception all of them did think they were superior to their teaching colleagues, and all of them did treat their students in a condescending manner.

Yet none of the “great teachers” I had contributed anything major to how I turned out, maybe with the exception of one of my gifted high school English teachers who taught writing.

And I can’t blame failures in my life on any of the “bad teachers” either.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Breathtaking.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I liked Krauthammer’s (I think it was) response to this. No one’s denying that we all benefit by standing on the shoulders of the giants that preceded us…it’s not so much incorrect, but rather banal to belabor that point. Obama’s speech, however, didn’t simply point it out, he belittled the work of present-day giants to in order to made a collectivist/statist argument, which is both wrong-minded and arbitrary.

BlueCollarAstronaut on July 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

I also think Krauthammer nailed the thought that when you take the quotes in context it’s much worse.

Obama’s speech comes across as a sneering, distainful screed against individual success. He comes across as jealous and petty, needing to minimize the impact of entrepreneurs and raise the importance of government, i.e., himself.

Watch the tape and see for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjPI6no5ng

I can’t anymore. It makes me sick to listen to it.

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Erudite fool – the gov’t in the US and in Canada does nothin, nada, rien, without funding by taxes.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 6:22 PM

How do you tell a Romney supporter from an Obama supporter?

Romney supporters sign their checks on the front.

Obama supporters sign their checks on the back.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I can’t anymore. It makes me sick to listen to it.

itsspideyman on July 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM

…Someone helped you along the waaaah….

slickwillie2001 on July 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

“Out of context”? Now he is using the standard excuse of those Muslims who have been a bit too open about the tenets of their “religion of peace”?

Antivenin on July 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM

“Out of context”? Now he is using the standard excuse of those Muslims who have been a bit too open about the tenets of their “religion of peace”?

Antivenin on July 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Little Bammie wishes that he had his own language to talk to his base like the ‘palestinians’ do, and tell the rest of us something completely different in English.

slickwillie2001 on July 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Remember that in 2015 we will no longer need roads, as Doc Brown informed us in Back to the Future.

Jingo95 on July 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

So some people aren’t smarter? Some people don’t work harder? All tax payers don’t pay for infrastructure?

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Erudite fool – the gov’t in the US and in Canada does nothin, nada, rien, without funding by taxes.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Correct. Duh.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

And a heads-up — Ramirez will have a new book out soon. We’ll have more on that later this summer.

Great news! A collection of Ramirez from the Obama years – I’ll be watching for advance orders.

Eren on July 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I guess Obama’s super smart campaign staff has never told him that bad soundbites do matter. This one is worse than ‘the private sector is doing fine’ because it takes a long time to explain it away.

However, there are a lot of idiots who believe everything he says, unfortunately.

HellCat on July 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Another of the medias spinning on he’s so smart that when he talks nobody knows what he is saying. In reality he talks so stupid you cannot take it out of context. Stupid is stupid, even if you put lipstick on it.

savage24 on July 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM

But to thump your chest and say nothing out there in society or the government helped you with your business is beyond hilarious.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Dude, you just took obama completely out of context!

Your quote above is not what obama said, not even close. He said “you didn’t do that”, not “the govt helped you with that”. See the difference?

What he implied was that the business owner didn’t build his own business but that the govt did. That’s completely in context with what he said. So either you completely agree with his original statement or you’re lying about what he originally said (but in fact you’ve done both). So which is it? Either you’re a communist, a liar, or both.

runawayyyy on July 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM It just means that your society does tons of sh*t that helps business prosper.

Dave Rywall on July 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

YOUR society……??

Where you from, boy? And, if it’s not your society, too…who cares what your opinion on it is? Or your opinion on the obamassiah and his denigration of small businessmen?

Solaratov on July 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

Typhonsentra on July 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM

…. all built on the shoulders of ideas proposed by low-paid academics who used them to obtain patents and start their own value-added businesses on the side, eventually becoming part of the 1%.

Just remember, whatever the Government does, it does using money taken from the people Obama disparaged. And also remember: When you fling a bowl of spaghetti at a wall, some of it will stick, even though most of it slides down to the floor and needs to be thrown out.

unclesmrgol on July 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM

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