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. usagoblue

    First to the idiot who asked Clinton and Obama why they wern't in Vietnam...Obama was a little boy and Clinton wasn't drafted but his daddy also didn't buy 4 defermants either. As for Mr truck fixer, you said it your own dumb self. Help from friends, family, schooling and if your kids went to public schools and you're 69yrs old, pretty much going to bet you & wife are on social security and medicare.

    July 19, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What did those that are successful build on? That is what Obama is trying to get across. There are many different things that the government started which are now being used by corporate America and the rest of the world.

    July 19, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. Jenniferwriter

    Um, all those thinking that Mr. Maloney is a great example, might want to read the following, in which he talks about how he couldn't have made it without the industrial revenue bonds issued by the, guess who, government..

    "Company owner Brian Maloney, 69, agreed with Romney's assessment. "I take umbrage at the suggestion that people don't start and build businesses," Maloney said. "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."

    But in an interview with Boston-based reporter Jon Keller of WBZ-TV, Maloney acknowledged that his business received some government help. "The only way I was able to come here, because I had no money, was with an industrial revenue bond," Maloney said in the interview."

    July 19, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    if you sit down and think about it..something it seems the far right doesn't like to do....what exactly did the president say that wasn't true? All so called "self-made" men and women got a start somewhere.....didn't Mitt Romney even say to kids to get a loan from your parents to go to school? You can NOT in fact drive to your corporation without roads that were built by somebody else to get there. In fact you may not become successful in certain areas if nobody bought or sold your product. If you open your own business doesn't somebody normally rent you a space to do it? Even if you are like Romney who is wealthy would people like he and Trump be as wealthy if their parents at first were not? Mitt is playing to the choir here because these supporters are listening to FoxNews soundbites and not thinking this through.

    July 19, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Wiilard,
    Take off the mom jeans once and for all.
    Put on your big boy pants.
    Stop editing and splicing clips.
    And show you people the damn tax returns already. We all know this latest lie won't fly, nor will it distract us from demanding your tax returns.

    July 19, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. Name

    internet was invented by government research so people could make more money off the internet????......................

    July 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Wire Pallidan S.F. – During 55 years in the job market, I've paid a pretty tidy sum in road taxes, was FORCED to contribute to the pyramid schemes Social Security and Medicare and currently pay monthly premiums for Medicare coverage, so yes I use them, I PAID for them. I've never had a year that I did not pay taxes to cover those items you listed. I would be classified in the lower middle class, but think Obama's attempt to shake down the successful is outrageous. The earned it...it's theirs.

    July 19, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    I can't wait until November to shut this clown up. He has nothiing, absolutely nothing to bring to the table.
    He is NOT running because he wants to be president. He is running because his daddy and his church expect him to be president.
    This guy hasn't done a decent day's work in all his life. How is he going to handle 24/7/365???

    July 19, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Sue InMS

    The sad thing about it is that Mitt and the Rs know that they can use "one or two word sound bytes" or take the Prez's words totally out of context and put false info out there to their base and they will believe it because they are not smart enough to check sources other than FAUX news? RELEASE YOUR TAXES, MITT...10 yrs. at least!!!!

    July 19, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. suchende

    "We don't need any more of government's help. We haven't had any. We've only had pain. It's overbearing."

    Who could really be so ignorant of the government support they enjoy to believe this?!

    July 19, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Romney-2012.

    July 19, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Dave, Central Illinois

    Lisa P. said
    "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."

    My bet is that Lisa is one of those lazy bitter Obamites who depends upon the goverment's handouts instead of working for a living. Or, maybe a basement dweller in mommy's basement with a computer and TV with MSNBC always on. Lisa, get a job and shut up.

    July 19, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. AmericaLovingPatriot

    A vote for Obama is a vote against America.

    July 19, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. wbiro

    Ideal World: "Government, you do the jobs we give you the money to do and tell you to do. So get off your pedestal, get out of our way, and get your hands out of our pockets."
    Reality: "Government, do what you want, we're too busy on our joy ride through life."
    So what Obama is saying is that what the Government does is left in the hands of the few. "Leaders" we call them, created by a lack of involved citizenry (who are all on joyrides).
    Do you know what the Classical Greek term was for a person disinterested in public affairs? an "Idiōtēs". Look familiar? That is what an Obama rules over.

    July 19, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. wbiro

    Ideal World: "Government, you do the jobs we give you the money to do and tell you to do. So get off your pedestal, get out of our way, and get your hands out of our pockets."
    Reality: "Government, do what you want, we're too busy on our joy ride through life."
    So what Obama is saying is that what the Government does is left in the hands of the few. "Leaders" we call them, created by a lack of involved citizenry (who are all on joyrides).
    Do you know what the Classical Greek term was for a person disinterested in public affairs? an "Idiōtēs". Look familiar? That is who an Obama rules over.

    July 19, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. Leah

    "He was supported by his wife. What is the difference with what the POTUS has said???"

    Can you seriously not see the difference? Between a married couple supporting each other as they build a business, and government handouts? Obama's speech – the whole thing, not just what was quoted here – was an attempt to convince us that we can't be successful in business without government intervention. The story cited in this article was about two people who were partners. I've seen success stories like theirs in my own life and that is a far, far cry from Obama trying to steal credit from the hard-working business owners in America.

    To hear my president say "If you've got a business, you didn't build that," is frustrating, to say the least. And I'm honestly a little surprised to see so many people here defending him for it.

    July 19, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. anagram_kid

    These words were also in the president's speech – “This unbelievable American system that we have… “

    How is it possible that Fox News, Gov. Romney and all his surrogates missed this line? Gov. Romney has proven once again that he is not just willing, but eager to lie to win this election. And if you think the lies will end there, you are a fool.

    July 19, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Really?

    Hey Snnifffit – the jobs are coming back anyway. The legislation was a gimmick; surely YOU should know that.

    July 19, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. Really?

    Wire Pal – you are nuts. Of course there would be electricity; you watch to much of MSM and public (government run) tv.

    July 19, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  20. Jim

    If building a business was so easy how come everyone doesnt do it – after all they have all had the benefit of this 'amazing' infrastructure... Absolute garbage as we have come to expect from Obama – he just doesn't get it at all

    July 19, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. Really?

    I'm sure the we could all do fine without the government. Just observe the Amish and you will see generations of successful living without government "help". Now for those of you who don't want their lifestyle go ahead and support collectivism but don't force it on the rest of us.

    July 19, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. JerseyGirl

    @ 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."

    I believe it was Willard's great grandfather that moved to Mexico because here in the US he couldn't keep his 5 wives. Then when there was turmoil in Mexico and 5 wives were allowed here, then he moved back. Of course that is why Willard had one of his 5 non-military sons do a commercial in Spanish, to pander to the Hispanic population & mention his grand-father (or was it George?) being born in Mexico. IN THE MEANTIME, "ol Willard is trying to distract "you people" from continuing to ask for his tax returns, his Bain years, and the fact that the single solitary 2010 tax return he released is incomplete because it didn't have attached the foreign bank accounts information!

    July 19, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  23. John Athans

    After reading the President's coments in full, I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Romney is a USED CAR SALESMAN.

    July 19, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. Jane

    Mr. Romney's very first video ad was an out and out lowdown lie – - Romney flat out said that Pres. Obama said something that was, in fact, a direct quote from Republican John McCain, and when called out on the Lie, laughed his bizarre, sociopathic laugh and stated he was proud of it. So, why should any of us expect him to stop lying and taking things out of context?????

    July 20, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  25. Jane

    @Ancient Texan – Barack Obama was not old enough to enlist by the time the Vietnam War ended, you featherheaded cretin. Mitt Romney WAS old enough, and protested In Favor of the war; he was all for sending the riff-raff off to be cannon fodder, but he used numerous excuses and deferments to avoid getting his rich white ass shot at. Next question.

    July 20, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
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