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. Guido

    IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE, alexithymic Mitt? Can't do better than that?

    July 19, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. LIB

    ONCE AGAIN, I am asking everyong on here, were you called for the Polls? Who are doing the polls? I am sure some of Mitt's folks paid the Times to put out a false poll. Have you seen the large crowds the president still pulls? Somebody's lying and I believe it's the polls.

    July 19, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. PJ/TX

    Someone ran a speech that Romney had given during one of his other Presidential campaigns, and he was saying
    practically the same thing President Obama said. What happened to Romney saying "I don't remember what I
    said, but I stand by it". Unbelievable.

    July 19, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. JPinSF

    Hey Voice of Reason, Why don't you ask Romney why he didn't serve in the military? And also ask how many meetings Romney has had to figure out how to create jobs, and why the Senate Republicans just killed a jobs bill? Better ask the questions to both sides.

    July 19, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Joan

    If you think about what he said it is really true. You can't build a business in a vacuum. For a new business to start up you need loans, media advertising, raw materials for your products, methods of transportation to ship and sell your products, tax breaks to hire new workers, customers and the list goes on and on. You need a strong support system to make it work. That's what he meant. Actually business is doing pretty darn well in the US. Big businesses who are supposed to be the "job creators" have billions and billions of dollars sitting there and won't hire because they want the economy to stay weak so it makes the President look bad. The worst part of all of this is that the obstructionist congress who has done almost NOTHING to help create jobs is possibly going to get the wish of Mitch McConnell who's first priority was to make the President a one term president. He put his party ahead of the country. How selfish! People forget that the stock market has gone from 6,000 to almost 13,000. That's money in your reitirement savings folks. Other countries watching the vicious American election process must be wondering if that is what democracy really means.

    July 19, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Michael B.

    I heard something on the radio today, made me realize what Obama thinks of people (and made me wonder why people think he's more relatable to Americans than Romney). He said "America was built by the middle-class. America was built from the bottom up." Yep, he thinks middle class people are the bottom of society. Get rid of Obama. ROMNEY 2012!!

    July 19, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. batjones

    I heard a report on this story whereby Mr. Romney pointed out a book of government regulations that Mr. Maloney must follow. I always wonder how many of these regulations are federal and how many are state and local ordinances. Then, of those regulations, how many focus on loopholes so that companies can get around the intent of the original law. Mr. Romney is good at finding loopholes to skirt paying taxes, and leaving the 99% with the burden of keeping society moving forward. Romneycare was a big state loophole to shift the healthcare costs of Romney's ailing wife onto the backs of the people of Massachusetts.

    July 19, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Those poor people standing in the background sure won't be standing behind Romney when he puts them in the soup line, he could care less about the working class other than a vote and then "see ya".

    July 19, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. kayla

    voice, maybe you should ask the stiff why he did not serve. his rich daddy made sure he sent him away.

    July 19, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Heather

    Democrats can only harass Romney about his income taxes because they have nothing else worthwhile to harass him about. Romney's business didn't cause massive inflation across the country or even cost anyone a penny in taxes. You lazy, envious, stupid liberals amaze me that you have the gall to think that everyone who became a success did so deceitfully just because you can't rub two dimes together and have never built or succeeded at anything.

    You honestly think the IRS would let him get out of paying one flipping PENNY? He probably gets an automatic audit every year! Every time my family made any good money in their business, the IRS would sent an agent, book him a hotel and have him go through all our records, just so the IRS could make sure they were screwing us for all they could, and they weren't making 1/16th of what Romney has made. Never once has my family done business dishonestly. They have the sort of principles that keep you in business and profitable by word of mouth alone.

    July 19, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. beau

    If you're a mormon:
    You believe in a man named Joseph Smith that declared himself a general against the American Government and then said he would create a Theocratic Monarchy with himself at its head.
    You also believe in a man named Joseph Smith that married a 14 year old girl – even though he already had plural wives – because he told the child's family they would receive instant eternal salvation if they gave her to him (Smith).
    You also believe in becoming a god after this life if you have committed to and followed all of your temple rituals sincerely and without deviance.
    You also believe that anyone that is not a mormon will NOT be allow to be with Jesus Christ or God, no matter how good they are, if they do not accept your gospel (religion) to be the only true church. For example. Mother Teresa will not be in heaven if she does not accept a posthumous baptism in the after life.
    You also believe that you must take on secret temple names, wear garments (underwear) that has secret symbols that are used in secret rituals in the temple as well as a blood oath that began in 1843, but ended in 1990 when there was a general uproar amongst non-mormons that found out about this particular ritual.
    You also believe Blacks and Native Americans were marked with dark skin for being evil in the pre-life or because they just displeased god.
    You believe that once you are a god of your own world, you with your heavenly wife will create spirit children that will then fill the earthly bodies of human on your own particular planet that you rule over...meaning that you are already (in certain terms) better than the God that created this planet.
    You do believe that Lucifer and Jesus were and are brothers. Sign A TRUE Conservative Republican."

    July 19, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. T. A. Martin

    To those with issues with the article and Obama's full quote (you know who you are!) Look at the fifth paragrath, that starts: "In his July 13 remarks Obama said:" It looks like a full quote of Obama refuting the owner building a business in isolation.

    Please; to all who it concerns (that should be everyone) reading comprehension was one of the things I needed to learn to pass my school's Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills so I could graduate.... And that was over twenty years ago!

    July 19, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. beau

    So the Republicans are going to settle on an east coast, elite, millionaire from an aristocratic family? What is his experience that will make him a successful Conservative President?
    1. He fires people, lays off employees, and outsources jobs while pocketing the pension funds of those same employees.
    2. He is comfortable in an upper class setting. After all, America IS the upper class, isn't it? The little people, like you and I, are not really very important. People of Romney's class and background see us as livestock that can understand English.
    3. He does not care if Americans suffer. He has made lots of them suffer so far in his life. He's made of tough stuff. No weepy compassion will ever cloud his judgment.
    4. He knows how to destroy corporations and sell off their assets. He could use those skills to destroy the federal government, a stated goal of Conservatism
    5. After the Romney Administration is over in 2016 or 2018, Conservatives will say, "Hey, you can't blame us for the disastrous Romney Administration. He wasn't a TRUE Conservative. What we need is a TRUE Conservative like Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum … or maybe govornor Palin."

    July 19, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. DemandFullDisclosure

    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.

    ...and there would not be an internet. Computers would be running vaccuum tubes and take up your entire house. There wouldn't be satelites making communication fast and cheap. There wouldn't be an interstate highway system. There wouldn't be public education allowing millions of poor kids to be educated and compete with the rest of the world. The list goes on and on....

    When are you going to release your tax returns Willard you liar?

    July 19, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. diane waltman

    Go ahead and print all of what President Obama had to say. It reinforces Mitt Romneys interpretation of what he meant. Even better, play the remarks as President Obama speaks them. Trust me, it clarifies the debate in Romneys favor.

    July 19, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. W l jones

    If government did not help business suceed I can see a platoon of men pushing a wheel barrel of wet cement down a trail building Hoover dam. Bless.

    July 19, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. feedledum

    These are the type of low life tricks of which Romney hopes it brings him victory. I saw the whole context and Romney edited out selected words to completely distort its meaning. And then he goes on the stump to say almost verbatim the exact same thing that Obama said in the original speech that Romney "quoted". Really, any remaining respect I had for Romney, which was little, is gone for good. No class, no imagination, just a cheap fraud with a big bank account.

    July 19, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Andrew

    You'd have to be a child to believe that a 'small-business' owner does it all by themselves. Sure they take credit for accomplishments, but did they become sucessful by themselves? Did they not have clients, suppliers, help from relatives, banks, partners, etc? Phony outrage based on a false premise.... Knuckle-draggers will eat this up though...

    July 19, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. rs

    Mr. Romney When you say: "It wasn't a gaffe. It was instead his ideology" you lie. Clearly the quote you reference was created by FOX News, as the President said NOTHING of the sort.

    You sir are a pathetic little man hanging on lies, hoping to become President.

    July 19, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Andrew

    @"The Voice of Reason' – Romney, why didn't you serve in the military?

    July 19, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Carlos

    This is the reason we need more money in education so people on the right can learn reading and listening comprehension. Lest they be led around by the nose by a moran like Karl Rove. Romney camp was looking for something to help them move away from the tax return issue and this is what they chose??? What truly is scary is that there are people out there that will believe them.

    July 19, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. alaskannewsjunky

    Thank God for the American News Media Infrastructure that even the remotest Alaskan Bush Villages can have access to such news stories, with that said...
    Quit whining Romney and show us; who,what,when, where,why and how legitimate questions of your tax returns BY ALL THE AMERICAN REGISTERED VOTING PUBLIC!!! UNLESS YOU REALLY THINK THAT WILL SELF-INCRIMINATE YOU???

    July 19, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney is lying and he knows it. He and the rest of the republican faux news crowd have taken the President's remark completely out of context and there is videotape to prove it. I guess republicans believe if you repeat a lie often enough people will start to believe. Sadly, many of the republican crowd will believe it. No wonder most intelligent people think republicans are stupid!

    July 19, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Is Rove out of the looney bin? This attack has his fingerprints all over it!

    July 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  25. lin

    Who care Romney money I m more worry about all my money rob by obama for his socialist BOTTOM FEEDER FOLLOWER for VOTES ,OBAMA MASTER OF DECEIT his socilaist policies r FAIL just like his south side CHICAGO THUGS murder HOLE pls back to there and dont comeback

    July 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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