Romney drives a truck through Obama's 'build that' remark
July 19th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney drives a truck through Obama's 'build that' remark

Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) - His presidential campaign chose a truck repair shop for Mitt Romney to once again slam President Barack Obama for his "you didn't build that" remark about business.

"It wasn't a gaffe. It was instead his ideology," Romney said, referring to a recent speech by the president in which he stated, "If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

The White House hopeful has spent the last three days railing on the president for those remarks, made last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia. Thursday morning, the Romney campaign released a web video called "These Hands" about an owner in charge of a family business who challenges Obama's claim that his family did not build their business on their own.

The dueling presidential candidates and their campaigns dispute each other's interpretation. To drive home their point, Obama's re-election team released a rebuttal video with more lines from the president's speech to provide context to nuggets Republicans keep repeating.

In his July 13 remarks Obama said: "If you are 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."

That didn't stop Romney from building on the narrative that Obama is "out of touch" with small businesses. He reiterated that message when he visited a family-owned business in the neighborhood of Roxbury just a few miles away from campaign headquarters.

"The president does in fact believe that people who build enterprises like this really aren't responsible for it, but in fact a collective success of the whole society that somehow builds enterprises like this," Romney said, with employees of Middlesex Truck & Coach standing behind him. "In my view, we have to celebrate people who start enterprises and employ other people."

The company's owner, Brian Maloney, chimed in.

"I take umbrage at the suggestion that people don't start and build businesses," Maloney said with his son Brian next to him. "I started out with 500 bucks and worked with my hands to afford grad school at night. My wife supported me. Started a little body shop and was able to bring together people, one at a time. A lot of them are still right here behind me."

The 69-year-old added, "We don't need any more of government's help. We haven't had any. We've only had pain. It's overbearing."

At least 20 protesters greeted Romney outside the repair shop, holding signs that called for the White House hopeful to release more of his income tax returns. During a tour of the facility he mentioned the opposing group and said there are teams in politics quipping "we bother each other."


Filed under: 2012 • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If it weren't for roads, mittens would not be in a truck shop.

    July 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. John Kelley

    Romney – why didn't you serve in the military during Vietnam. Were you afraid? We had 58,000 dead from Vietnam.
    It would not mean anything, but you are a NEO CON ready to throw Americans into Iran if you are elected President. And release your tax returns -

    July 19, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Without roads and infra structure, there would be no trucks.

    July 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    ""It wasn't a gaffe. It was instead his ideology," Romney said, referring to a recent speech by the president in which he stated, "If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.""

    When is the MSM going to slap this stupid canard down? All you have to do is look at the sentences before this cherry-picked out-of-context nonsense and the sentences after and it becomes UNARGUABLY CLEAR that Obama was referring to the fact that businesses don't succeed without society providing roads, bridges, economic and physical infrastructures, etc etc ETC. STOP CARRYING MITTENS' WATER AND REPORT THE TRUTH.

    July 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    The alien from planet Bain atempting to be a human.
    Hey Max-headroom – where's your tax returns?

    July 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. cf

    Considering "job creators" like Romney receive all kinds of tax breaks and incentives at the expense of all of us who pay taxes, they DIDN'T build their business on their own, we all did. Considering a business is only as successful as the people who can afford to patron it, they DIDN'T get there all on their own, we all helped them.

    Exactly what has a wealthy family like the Romneys, coming from money and born into money, done to earn it? I'm so sick and tired of people like Romney who were born on third base and want credit for hitting a triple.

    July 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Just show this nation your 12 years of taxes.

    July 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. rose

    Look at the picture. It says a lot. No one is smiling, and a few are looking at this man as if he were crazy and many others looked disgusted. I agree... most times he opens his mouth I am disgusted.

    July 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I just saw the full version of Obama's remarks. Mittens is a lying Mormon headed for hell.

    July 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. rose

    So sick of the word twisting and bs taking out of context and exploiting it. Do people really fall for this? It nauseates me whichever side it comes from. If you have to throw rubber bullets then you are dishonest and have nothing real to say or accomplish.

    July 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens does not understand America, as our greatness and freedom was built by the middle class.

    July 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Ancient Texan

    If you own a small business and are successful, you pay more taxes than 49.5% of Americans and that builds roads and infrastructure. Obama class warfare strategy depicts his deep rooted socialist ideology.

    July 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. NVa Native

    Geewiz-ickers RoMoney – were those private toll roads you drove on to get that truck to the repair shop?
    How is it that RoMoney and so many fox followers are so stupid as to not understand that without tax funded govt infrastructure we would be a third world country and there'd be no one for RoMoney to enjoy to firing?

    July 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Jay

    the Romney camp have gotten really good at taking things out of context! but most of us are smart enough to know when it happens.

    July 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    I wish the GOPers would learn to be Americans.

    July 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Ancient Texan

    John Kelly- What branch of the service did Obama serve in? or Bill Clinton, during the Vietnam war?

    July 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. malcolm Spence

    Drop him in a desert and see if he can still make millions. We all stand on other's shoulders, we need the humility that comes from recognizing that.

    As Governor Richards of Texas said about George Bush, "he was born at third base and still thinks he hit a triple...."

    July 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    What's really bothering you Willard? Is it the tax issue or is it the fact you look at the president's crowds and see how many intelligent white people REJECT your ignorance too – because they know (just as everyone else does) you are a lying, lazy, anti-American thug who is yet again asking the American people for something without giving anything in return.

    July 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Jon

    This is all silly ... because without God there would not have been man ... without man there would not have been woman ... without women there would be no need to shop ... without shopping there would be no need for trucks to bring the goods to the store ... without trucks and cars there would be no need for roads or bridges ...

    So in reality ... it is God and not Government that is responsible for business start-ups ... perhaps if we spent more time thanking God for what we had, and less time thanking the government for what we had ... this world would be a better place.

    July 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. scarf

    Actually, Romney validated Obama's remarks. Why would you need to repair trucks if the government (hence, taxpayers) didn't build some roads for them to drive on?

    July 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    You going to correct him CNN? This nonsense has gone far enough. The sentence before this statement and the sentence after this statement clearlyk indicate that Obama was talking about the FACT...the undeniably, objective, verifiable, truth of the universe...that if you have a successful business it is IN PART because society provided you with roads, bridges, a stable economy, education, physical and economic infrastructure, etc etc ETC. HE SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT WE SUCCEED PARTLY BECAUSE OF OUR OWN INGENUITY AND EFFORT AND PARTLY BECUSE WE WORK TOGETHER. MITTENS IS LYING LYING LYING.

    July 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ancient Texan – You are wrong on the perps of class warfare, a look in the mirror will show the real culprit. However, if you are a true conservative, I hope you are not using any government roads, social security, VA benefits, national parks, medicare, post offices, border patrol, FBI, homeland security, using any vehicle with government safety standards, putting your money in an FDIC bank, etc.

    July 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Tony

    Obama meant that you do not build a business totally on your own. Regardless, Republicans did not build that either. To build something, you need a plan, and Republicans don't have any.

    July 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "If you've got a business, you didn't build that."

    In that sentence, "THAT" refers to the education system, the roads, the bridges, etc. etc.

    Apparently, illegal immigrants have an easier time with teh English language than your average GOPer/Teatroll.

    July 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Pete

    Romney at a truck stop,does he know what one is..He says people don't start companies without help,its true and most of you company owners know it,ya had the banks help,families help,friends help, not many are like Romney that can claim a wealthy father like Trump,who got them started.It's not what it was years ago to start a business,ya need money to make money so quit fooling people ,I'm an exbusiness owner now retired and it took me and my best friend partner a lot to get our feet wet in business with licences,insurance,advertising ,trucks and product to get us going..It took help from other business owners to give us advise and it definitly helped,you don't know it all stop thinking ya do.It's tough out there and the president knows it,he's not delushional like Romney being given everything since birth,that's something you earn in business ,respect and hard work to keep it,something that arrogent SOB Romney knows nothing about...

    July 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7