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."

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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. CBR

    Mr. Romney has taken the President's remarks out of context. The President's remarks should be quoted by CNN so that people can read exactly what he said.

    Shame on CNN for not printing the truth and allowing Mr. Romney to skirt around the truth.

    July 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Go home you republican bafoon party freak and take your goofy wife Ann with you ,and where are your tax returns ?????romney the clown and BACHMANN are taking the Gop down the toilet in Nov,thanks Ann .

    July 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Jeff in Virginia

    How dumb does Romney think the American people are? Anybody who read what Obama actually said knows that Romney is lying, simple as that.

    July 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. The Voice of Reason

    Obama – why didn't you serve in the military?

    July 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. 2012liberal

    Don't 'you people' know 'it is there turn'. The help should just take them at their word. Nothing 2 see here. Move along and eat yr chocolate dessert thingy.

    July 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. gypsyalso

    i am so tired of stuff being taken out of context – on both sides. did this business get a loan through the years? if so, then someone helped. they didn't put in their own water lines – so the municipality or someone else helped. romney and obama – tell us what you are going to do to help the people of the us – quite nitpicking each other's words – and make sure your words are accurate. tired of this.

    July 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. fastball

    God, I'm so sick and tired of these juvenile political games. Can't we have an election like the Canadians? Sixty days and it's done. 60 days of campaigning...rather than this ENDLESS prattling on back and forth – trying to score cheap political points.
    Of course, you didn't build a business by yourself – You need help along the way most of the time. 95 percent of entrepreneurs starting out needed a bank loan – or a tax incentive – or renovations done – or something. THAT'S what Obama meant.

    July 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. okc

    There is no word twisting...............Obuma clearly hates anyone that is successful and wants them punished.
    I heard the entire speech.
    The road and bridge building company made that happen.......then tax payers (the 52%) agreed to pay for it it was needed but the government did little to make it happen

    July 19, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. The Voice of Reason

    “When people need good jobs you would think the president would focus all of his energy and his passion on helping people get jobs,” Mr. Romney said. “In the last six months he has held 100 fundraisers and guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero in the last six months, so it makes it very clear where his priorities are.”

    July 19, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I would like to remind the memory challenged that Mittens' grandfather gave up his US citizenship to redefine marriage as the bond between one man and 5 women. Obama's grandfather served with Patton protecting the American way of life.

    July 19, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    I feel the presence of--Karl Rove.

    July 19, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "“When people need good jobs you would think the president would focus all of his energy and his passion on helping people get jobs,”"

    You mean like proposing legislation that gives tax cuts to businesses who bring jobs back home from overseas? LIke what the GOP/Teatrolls just obstructed?

    July 19, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Lisa P

    "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."

    So, family help, grad school, expertise of his employees, not to mention whoever gave, loaned or paid him the initial $500. For a business that depends on safe roads, driver education and licensing, vehicle registration, low gas price policies, mandatory vehicle insurance, reliable enforcement of insurance regulations, reliable enforcement of property rights, the continued good health of car and truck manufacturers, active new and used vehicle markets and rental agencies, sufficient disposable income that his customers can afford to get their cars fixed instead of just leaving them to rust in the driveway... Naaahhhh, this guy's piddly little body repair business doesn't depend at all on anything or anyone but him and his supposed hard work and ingenuity. Not.

    July 19, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. royanrannedos

    Political Grammar Rule #91

    Avoid pronouns like "This" and "That", lest Romney drive a truck through them.

    July 19, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. BBvi

    Funny! looks like Mitt is getting too low. The shop owner said it all himself. He was supported by his wife. What is the difference with what the POTUS has said??? Dude, just release your taxes!

    July 19, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Government does not create jobs, the right wingnuts cry. If not for the government there would be no electricity in Tennessee and Kentucky, and they would not be able to watch Fox foreign owned media.

    July 19, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. anotherGDlefty

    Oh Ancient Texan, the president was 8 years old at the peak of Vietnam, what branch would you have him serve in at age 8?
    Clinton did what Romney and most of the neocons did, deferred and bailed out of country.
    At least Bill was getting educated.
    So now your guy is on par with a Clinton, that should make your head implode...

    Why does Vietnam matter to republicans after you swift boat lied about Kerry, who served and was wounded.
    One other person you guys hated that actually served, Max Cleland.
    You are disgusting.

    July 19, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Expat American

    Romney’s ‘Bully, Lie and Cower’ oral flatulence campaign takes on a new catch phrase every day. Is anybody buying his imaginary non-existant platform? Romney is so full of hot air, it’s no longer clear which end it’s coming from.

    July 19, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. California

    Do you even know what transparency is Hussein Obama? Because your actions tell us you don't.

    July 19, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Myviewis

    Simple, businesses came before government. People created government to collect taxes and take care of infrastructure, safety, etc.... Government without the people's money would not exist. Government exists because we all put money in the pot. No money, no government. Get it?????? Government is not a business, it does not retail, does not make its own money, it works with our money. Businesses, the exchange of goods for other goods or for labor came before a politician existed in history. You can have a business without electricity, roads, toilet system but government can't exist without our money.

    July 19, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    This needs to be turned around on the GOP/Teatrolls and the 1% they adore.

    The fact of the matter is this: people like Mittens and the plutocrats who support him really do think they did it all on their own...that all of their company's success is due 100% to their efforts and their ingenuity and their blood, sweat and tears. They live in a world with themselves at the center of it and they refuse to even give credit to the people who, more than anyone else, are TRULY responsibel for the success of their businesses...THEIR EMPLOYEES.

    THAT is why middle-class wages have failed to compete with inflation for 40+ years. THAT is why the more the businesses make, the more the owners and CEOs make while NONE of it trickles down. THEY DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ANY SWEAT EQUITY WHATSOEVER. IT IS ALL "MINE MINE MINE"....AND THEY DON'T STOP SEEING THAT MONEY AS BELONGING TO THEM EVEN AFTER IT GETS PUT IN YOUR PAYCHECK AND BACK ACCOUNT. THEY RESENT YOU FOR HAVING TO PAY IT TO YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    July 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Here we go again. All of the Obama's supporters are blaming everyone else on the planet for President Obama's socialist/communist remarks. Face it Democrats, the President is a socialist/communist who has ZERO clue about the economy.

    July 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    Do any of these Giants of Industry give any credit to a CREATOR for their success ?

    July 19, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. ronb

    Seriously? You know, what was ACTUALLY said is available in video format. Obama's just going to collect all of the romney lies and put them and the videos in a campaign add.

    July 19, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. secorsky

    Listened to the whole speech, honestly I was put off by the presidents remarks. When the teleprompter goes off we hear his true feelings.

    July 19, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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