Romney reprises Obama 'build that' criticism
July 23rd, 2012
07:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney reprises Obama 'build that' criticism

Costa Mesa, California (CNN) – After the two presidential candidates engaged in a three-day political détente following a deadly shooting in Colorado, Mitt Romney on Monday reprised his criticism of President Barack Obama for his "you didn't build that" remark about business.

At his only public campaign event during a lucrative fund-raising swing through California, Romney also called out Obama for the time the president spends raising money for his re-election campaign coffers.

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"I guess in the last six months he's done 109 fundraisers. He found time for that. I'd suggest between the fundraisers, get together with the jobs council and learn from people who are working hard to create jobs," Romney said in Costa Mesa.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, flanked by 10 small business owners, questioned why Obama has not sought advice from the 26-member group he created in February 2011, which includes business executives and CEOs from global companies such as General Electric and American Express.

"It's like, why won't he meet with his jobs council? These are some of the largest employers in the country. They have perspectives on what it would take for them to hire people, and why it is they decided to build a facility outside the country to doing what you've done, which is to grow in this country," said Romney.

Romney reminded people attending a fundraiser in Irvine earlier in the day about Obama's "build that" comment about businesses, which the GOP candidate turned into a web video and later a television ad that was pulled after the shooting took place at a movie theater outside of Denver early Friday morning.

"He said something extraordinarily revealing, in my view, and you probably heard this: A week ago Friday he said if you have a business, you didn't build it. Someone else did that. Now that someone else, of course, is the government of the country," Romney said of Obama Monday morning.

He added, "Whether you're the person who came up with it or the people who work there and contribute to it you did build it. Government did not build it."

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."

The small business owners did most of the talking during the 45-minute discussion and Romney did not bring up president's "build that" comment, but the message was clear. Above Romney, the eight men and two women was a new campaign sign that read, "We did build it!"

A banker at the meeting said he was supporting Romney because of his experience in government and the private sector, despite the fact that Democrats continually hammer Romney over his corporate career.

"I've supported you because not only do I think you have the business background but also being governor also provides you, I think, a unique perspective, and is something that most of us don't have which is perspective of both sides to really run this country," said Ivo Tjan, chairman & CEO of CommerceWest Bank.

As the group discussed how government regulation and intervention hurts their enterprises, Romney talked about the importance of keeping taxes low for small businesses.

"And so, those dollars in taxation it's not just for going after rich people, it's going after businesses that hire people. And if your priority is jobs you and try to find a way to do, how to keep the tax rates down so that you have more money to hire more people. It's something which I am afraid is hard to communicate to folks but the idea is get the tax rates down so that businesses keep more of their capital and can hire more people."

Obama's campaign repeatedly argues that Romney has taken the president's words about business out of context.

"Mitt Romney continues to criticize President Obama by taking his words completely out of context-all while sitting with small business owners who built their enterprises through their own initiative but with some help along the way," said Lis Smith, campaign spokeswoman. "As CEO of Bain & Co, he even negotiated a $10 million federal bailout to keep the company afloat. Mitt Romney's attacks may be unfair, but his events and own actions actually prove the President's point that while businesses are built through hard work and initiative, we're all in this together."


Filed under: 2012 • California • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Richard

    People should research how the mormons funded the mib to build Las Vegas casinos. What kind of religion funds the mob to make money. A Cult, that's what kind of religion. It was started by a crook and a charlatan, and its being perpetuated by a crook and a charlatan. It's unfortunate that good old boy ronnie (the dunce) reagan dumbed down this country. We now have more people willing to go agaisnt their own best interest, because they can't think either logicallly or abstractly.

    July 24, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
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