Green Room

Romney responds to Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ speech

posted at 5:18 pm on July 17, 2012 by

The reactions from the right on Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech are beginning to crystallize. The first assessment on the potential harm the remarks might inflict on the president’s reelection chances comes from Commentary’s John Podhoretz, who calls the statement “profoundly stupid politically.” He writes:

In 2007, the last year for which we have data, according to the Census Bureau, there were 21.7 million businesses in the United States with no employees—meaning they were sole proprietorships, or free-lance businesses employing only their owner. Of the six million remaining businesses in the U.S., more than 3 million had 1 to 4 employees, and 1 million had 5 to 9. So, all in all, small businesses run by one person employing fewer than ten numbered an astonishing 25 million.

This is probably the matter of greatest pride for each and every one of the people who runs that business. He or she views himself or herself as a hard-working, go-getting, scrappy individualist. And it’s likely that many of them—many, many of them—are independent voters.

In other words, that’s a whole lot of people Obama may have alienated.

An even more important development is that Mitt Romney has responded to the speech with a speech of his own today in Irwin, Pa., that may be just the catalyst he needs to ratchet up enthusiasm for his campaign. The Right Scoop has both the full speech and a 10-minute excerpt in which the Republican challenger dissects the president’s argument and holds to light the sheer vapidity of his words.

One point Romney makes that is worth repeating harks back to Obama’s reference to the “roads and bridges” that “someone invested in,” making it possible for businesses to thrive. The governor notes that the money that created those roads and bridges came out of the pockets that Obama is now looking to pick in the name of fairness.

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Great speech, I grew up just down the road from Irwin. hopefully the people in PA vote the right way for the 1st time in a while for president.

gsherin on July 17, 2012 at 5:45 PM

This is probably the matter of greatest pride for each and every one of the people who runs that business. He or she views himself or herself as a hard-working, go-getting, scrappy individualist. And it’s likely that many of them—many, many of them—are independent voters.

It’s not about the political ramifications, it’s about what he actually said / about his views!
He exposed his Marxist beliefs, THAT’S what is important!

KMC1 on July 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Mitt, RIDE THIS THROUGH NOVEMBER. Obama could not have given you a nicer gift than this (and he’s given plenty already!).

Mohonri on July 17, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Great speech! I listened to the excerpt, and one of the things he said was, “President Obama attacks success and under President Obama we have less success, and I will change that.” Good point! I don’t know why they seated a rather obvious Obama supporter right behind Romney, in full view of the cameras, though.

JoAnn1965 on July 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM


cmsinaz on July 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

This crazy speech (really, I have NO idea why he gave it) of Obama’s might just be the “Read my lips” statement of this cycle.

thebrokenrattle on July 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Obama’s speech, where he tries to say that businesses are dependent on the Federal government for support, makes no real sense in the examples he chooses. Some business owner might have had a good teacher as a child, or needed to drive on roads or bridges?

Public school teachers are usually paid by municipal governments from property taxes, with aid in some cases from State governments, NOT the Federal government. So if some business owner was inspired by a great teacher, he/she can thank the mayor of the town he/she grew up in, NOT Obama.

The construction and maintenance of most roads and bridges are financed by State governments, not the Federal government, except for Interstate highways and bridges that cross state lines. The roads and bridges are actually built by private for-profit construction companies, who compete for the contracts to build them, and who buy their materials from other private for-profit companies who supply steel, concrete, asphalt, and other materials, and who use earth-moving equipment built by private for-profit heavy machinery companies.

So if Government (at whatever level) can order the construction of roads and bridges, they can thank free enterprise for the competition that enables them to be built at lower cost.

Steve Z on July 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I tell you what I didn’t build, and that’s all these people getting high on freak drugs, flinging their clothes off, and running around chewing on other people and killing their children.

J.E. Dyer on July 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM

So can we thank the Government for Patrick Kearney aka: The Freeway Killer?

He seemed to make use of the roads & bridges for his “business”. He went to public school – he likely had teachers who “influenced” him. Does that mean the Government is responsible for what he made of his life?

Patrick Kearney confessed to killing a total of 32 young men from 1975 to 1977 and dumping their bodies on highways and deserts between Los Angeles and Mexico. He was convicted of 21 of the murders and received 21 life sentences in exchange for a full confession.

batterup on July 17, 2012 at 11:04 PM