Team Romney aggressively courting small business in swing states this week

posted at 11:21 am on July 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Mitt Romney may be abroad this week at the Olympics and Israel, but his campaign plans to press ahead aggressively this week on the theme handed to them by Barack Obama.  ABC’s Shushannah Walshe reports that the Romney campaign will attack Obama for his “you didn’t build that” speech by organizing small business owners in swing states for rallies:

The Romney campaign has been heavily pressing their “you didn’t build that” attacks for the past ten days and Wednesday is their biggest push yet with events with small business owners in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Nevada. …

In events at small businesses in locations as varied as Waukesha, Wis. to Palm Beach, Fla. to Columbus, Ohio, entrepreneurs will express their anger at the “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen” line.

Lou Ramos, a small business owner from Tampa, will be at his local event. He owns an information technology and computer training company called Value Enterprise Solutions, Inc.  and he said the president’s comments made him “almost throw up when I heard it.”

Ramos is a 64 year old Hispanic veteran, serving in the military from 1973-97, including two tours at the Pentagon, and he said he did read and watch all of the president’s comments in context, not just the two sentences continually highlighted by the campaign.

“I heard the whole thing and I read it,” Ramos told ABC News, mentioning he did like Obama when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. “I heard the whole thing…The guy was talking sincere…This guy thinks success is about government hand outs and not perseverance.”

Team Obama continues to complain that Romney and his campaign are taking the quote out of context.  Obama himself said he’s running out of patience with the attack (via JWF and Instapundit):

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he’s losing his patience over the Republican attacks aimed at his “you didn’t build that” comment.

“I have to tell you, I generally have patience with what the other side says about me, that’s a requirement of this job,” Obama said during a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser here, according to the pool report.

“And if you don’t like folks talking about you, you probably shouldn’t run for president. The one thing I do have no patience for is this argument that somehow what I’m criticizing is success… I want to promote success,” Obama said.

Obama’s defenders insist that Obama referred to building the infrastructure, not the businesses.  Jim Geraghty puts the whole sequence up on his site and asks whether that’s true:

 If Obama really meant “roads and bridges” when he said “you didn’t build that,” why didn’t he say “those” instead of “that”?

That misses the point anyway.  In the entire statement, Obama never acknowledges the key difference between those who work hard and benefit from infrastructure, and those who create businesses and expand the marketplace: risk.  Perhaps some are smarter than business creators, and perhaps some work just as hard or harder, although I believe on average a business creator has to work much harder to keep from failing than a salaried employee does at an already-established firm.  The difference is that the business creator takes significant financial risks in launching a business, which the benefits the economy by expanding markets, enhancing demand, and creating jobs.

Add that to the fact that it’s these markets that create the capital to build and maintain the infrastructure that Obama adores, and small business owners mean a great deal to their communities.  Their success would never have happened without that risk, which Obama ignored entirely in this speech, and the infrastructure would crumble without that kind of constant economic expansion that gets produced by risk-takers.

Team Romney has found a powerful theme and argument for this election, and no greater confirmation could be found than to have Obama cutting campaign ads to explain himself and griping in public about having to answer for his disdain for business creators.


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