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. sayhi2yourmom4me

    The republican message confuses me. So if no one helped the rich people build stuff, then how could they be "job creators"?

    July 19, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Wry Look

    Being proud of one's historical family background is one thing, but when did Obama (and I don't include just being commander in chief) serve in the military?

    July 19, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. rinasaunce

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

    Its like Obama wants to give all you non-business starters a participation ribbon for simply being born here. Look, the reality is that there are probably 5, maybe 10 million Americans who start businesses, employ their own hard work and knowledge to make the jobs for the rest of you. WE make it happen. Hell, only 50% of us even pay income tax for the rest of the country. In fact, it was OUR taxes that paid for the roads, the power infrastructure and everything else.

    Romney created an incredible company, Bain, where he had to quickly analyze financials, people and business strategies to determine a way for everyone to make more money. On the other hand, we have a community organizer who hired one of the actors in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle in his White House (and has the lowest percentage of business people in his administration). Obama has NO business background and wouldn't have a clue what it takes in risk and hard work to start one. Oh, and Obama's Job Council?? It hasn't even met for the last 6 months.

    July 19, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Tony

    When Romney said that he is "not concerned about the very poor," and "let Detroit go bankrupt," those were not gaffes.

    July 19, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. romneycares less

    You have no shame or Christian values Mr. Romney.

    July 19, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. So what's your solution GOP idiots?

    I know........I know......."More tax cuts for the rich to create jobs in India and China!!!!!"

    July 19, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. rinasaunce

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

    Its like Obama wants to give all you non-business starters a participation ribbon for simply being born here. Look, the reality is that there are probably 5, maybe 10 million Americans who start businesses, employ their own hard work and knowledge are the ones who make the jobs for the rest of you. WE make it happen. Hell, only 50% of us even pay income tax for the rest of the country. In fact, it was OUR taxes that paid for the roads, the power infrastructure and everything else.

    Romney created an incredible company, Bain, where he had to quickly analyze financials, people and business strategies to determine a way for everyone to make more money. On the other hand, we have a community organizer who hired one of the actors in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle in his White House (and has the lowest percentage of business people in his administration). Obama has NO business background and wouldn't have a clue what it takes in risk and hard work to start one. Oh, and Obama's Job Council?? It hasn't even met for the last 6 months.

    July 19, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. California

    Wire Palladin, S. F. – As opposed to racist, less than a tabloid NBC and it's afilliates including of course MSNBC (aka MSLSD)?

    July 19, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. I want to see Robme's Tax Returns

    He's hiding something.

    July 19, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Patriot Awesome

    Here's the entire speech so you don't take it out of context:

    " We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently…We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more …

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. 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.

    If you were 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.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

    So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president – because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

    July 19, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. The Independent

    "I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love."
    —Mitt Romney (January 2012)

    July 19, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Barnacle Bob

    @ Lisa P...and I'll chime in with, I'm sure he also generates his own water, electricity and gas, with no use of existing infrastructure and pipelines for the delivery of those resources, and when he needs parts he, what? Builds them himself with his bare hands? Mines the materials from the Earth for those parts with his bare hands? I am confident that he has never once had a single good or service delivered to his shop from a distributor. I bet he also had not, in any way, used his business to write off expenses. Nope. He's just out there against the odds, doing it by himself, surviving in a business climate where the big bad government just want to shut him down and wipe him out.

    Poor guy. It's been a pain? It's been overbearing? Here's an idea: have the ingenuity to start a business a little more unique than 'body shop', of which there are two on every corner of every street in America.

    July 19, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. gypsyalso

    regarding the comment of Romney's grandfather giving up US citizenship – before believing everything you read – check it out yourself.

    his father, George – former governnor of Michigan – was a US citizen – although born on foreign soil – sorta like mccain.

    July 19, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Jules

    I had a nephew that was listening to the news with us on one of the major network and he said, "wow, you never see any of this stuff on Fox News." No kidding! People who get their news from Fox and Rush Limbaugh don't even get one side of the story.

    July 19, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    President be taken out of Context! Their is truth to his remark. Without the location, and customers, one does not run a business. Try taking away the roads, electricity, telephones and neighborhood....no business on an island by oneself. Business can not be an island unto itself. The Republcians are really desperate!

    July 19, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. IntelligentDesign

    we all know someone that is thinking about supporting robb me. we need to talk intelligently with that person and agree to talk facts only. At the end of the discussion, if they still feel like supporting him just remember you tried. We need to move from using feelings and rumors to talking the truth. if they dont listen, thats not on you.

    July 19, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    I guess since Republicans are anti-education, maybe they don't have the capacity to understand a the amount of thought put into the statement!

    July 19, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. AmericanLady

    Have you seen the video? Not read the transcript, but seen the video? When President Obama says, "You didn't build that," he's not talking about the business, he's talking about the infrastructure that helped the business. To try and say otherwise is an understandably misleading political lie, but it's still a lie. Governor Romney's staunchest supporters will stick with the transcript's flat reading to try and make their point that this president hates business and is un-American, but I hope others will be able to see the unedited video and be more honest with themselves about the president's intent.

    July 19, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. Myviewis

    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.
    --------------------------------–

    There is electricity because we pay the government taxes, money for the government to pay employees for there to be electricity. Government does not have money of its own, it is not a business, why government employees are called Public Servants, government does everything with our money.

    July 19, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Bob

    He was highlighting teamwork. Did you listed to the entire talk? Probably not. I didn't get to where I am all by myself... If you accomplished everything in your life on your own, well that's just outstanding.

    July 19, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. jakinak

    Another of those rare occasions when the President spoke his mind. (ie. university police, Trayvon Martin) and people got a glimpse of the man behind the TelePrompter. As instructed media outlets have buried the story, with the exception of those parroting the "taken out of context" position of his re-election campaign.

    July 19, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Romney is like the boss who's jokes are not funny , but if you don't laugh your fired.

    Better yet , he's the kinda guy who would pay you to laugh at his jokes.

    That's why don't think he understands the difference between a democracy and a corporate take over.

    July 19, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Independent For President Obama

    Romney does not have a plan so he is like a lazy country dog waiting at the back door for any scrap of food. We all know what our President meant.

    July 19, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Nouane Douangkeo

    If people don't elect the leader, who is going to be a leader? Dominate yourself like a " DICTATOR'
    If people don't pay the taxes, how you is going to get the money to build the roads and bridges.

    July 19, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Dr Billy Kidd

    Whatever Obama says doesn't matter. The Romney campaign will construct a lie. Liar in Chief. Ann backs him all the way on falsely presenting his 2010 tax returns, leaving out all the data about his secret off-shore corporations.

    July 19, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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