Obama campaign: New ad takes on 'build that' attacks
July 24th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign: New ad takes on 'build that' attacks

(CNN) – The Obama campaign says it will release a new TV ad responding to Republican attacks capitalizing on the president's "you didn't build that" remark from two weeks ago.

Titled "Always," the commercial will air beginning Wednesday in a slew of key battleground states – Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Nevada, according to the campaign.

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The campaign says the spot will feature Obama speaking directly to the camera refuting a wave of criticism following a speech made at a campaign event in Virginia. The ad, which largely echoes comments made by the president at a campaign stop in Oakland on Monday, will highlight his support for small businesses.

"Those ads taking my words about small business out of context; they're flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own business. Everyday hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run," Obama says in the ad. "And what I said was that we need to stand behind them as America always has. By investing in education, training, roads and bridges, research and technology. I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message because I believe we're all in this together."

Republicans have highlighted the phrase to criticize the current administration's business record, displaying signage at events and repeating the president's remarks often on the campaign trail.

The new spot follows two web videos put out by the Obama campaign this week that say that the president's comments were taken out of context.

The battle stems back two weeks, when Obama told a crowd in Roanoke, Virginia, that successful small businesses got that way with the help of governmental support like roads and educators.

"If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama said. "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."

Romney, appearing on CNBC Monday, claimed that even within context Obama's words were troubling.

"I found the speech even more disconcerting than just that particular line. The context is worse than the quote," Romney said. "The context, he says, you know, you think you've been successful because you're smart, but he says a lot of people are smart. You think you've been successful because you work hard, a lot of people work hard."

Asked if the release of this spot indicates the campaign is worried that the Romney campaign attacks are working, Jen Psaki, traveling press secretary for Obama, said that they won't "stand by" while Romney misconstrues the president's words.

The Romney campaign, however, pushed back at Obama's defense in a statement to reporters.

“It's clear what President Obama believes because he told us: 'if you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ He said it, and he meant it.” wrote spokesman Ryan Williams.


- CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar and CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    I bet that ad won't be played on FoxNews. LOL

    July 24, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    Asked if the release of this spot indicates the campaign is worried that the Romney campaign attacks are working, Jen Psaki, traveling press secretary for Obama, said that they won't "stand by" while Romney misconstrues the president's words.
    =============================================================================================
    The answer is YES, Romney's ads are working. And what is there to "misconstrue"? Obama blathered on for quite a while advocating the role of government in everybodys success. ANd Obama believes that role should be expanded FAR beyond where it is today. Running your healthcare for one. Forcing you to buy that electric car because those bad gas engines help the big bad oil companies (or pay a hefty tax if you refuse).

    Yes, the Obama socialist cat is out of the bag Democrats. You couldn't conceal it forever and deceive the American people in another election cycle.

    July 24, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Kris

    The problem, as I see it, is that in the speech referenced and many others, President Obama seems to believe that "government" is some fairy godmother with magical money that didn't come from the same people who he is putting down in his speeches.

    July 24, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. al in memphis

    Has that's all government and politics become a play on words and twisting phrases to send the wrong message. Is that all our smartest, brightest, and focused minds can do to show us they deserve the opportunity to run the government. You can get a bunch of teenagers to do this kind of crap.
    I think the President statements were clear- business, individuals, and government all played in role in whatever this country has accomplished. That's how it going to get better. Business in an all out profit mode is not going to make it better, it will just give you another Wall Street and banking mess.

    July 24, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. You People Aint Seeing Our Tax Returns

    When will Romney start to lead in national polls?
    For more than ten months, Romney and his allies have been attacking the president on every issue.
    It seems the American people are no longer paying attention to Romney's rantings.

    July 24, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Kris Craig

    @BACKWARD What else are the voices telling you?

    The Romney ads really aren't playing to anyone but his base. Obama's response could come across as defensive if not executed properly, but we'll just have to wait and see how that plays out.

    As for your Socialist nonsense, do you even know what "Socialist" means? I wish Obama was a Socialist! But he's not. He's a 1990s Republican. His health care plan is virtually identical to the ones put forth by Bob Dole and later by Mitt Romney.

    Your party has moved so far into the crazy radical right that anything not perfectly in line with your delusional agenda is tantamount to Socialism.

    President Obama was absolutely correct in saying that we owe our success to society. You don't have to worry about roaming drug gangs bursting into your office or people unable to get to your store because the bridges have collapsed. If your house catches on fire, the evil government comes to you and puts it out.

    If you really want to owe 100% of your success to yourself and nobody else, move to a remote cabin in the woods. There, you can hunt your own food and build your own infrustructure. Let us know how that works out for ya. Chances are you won't be earning millions of dollars anytime soon....

    July 24, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Myviewis

    I think President Obama can only make his point stick with people who do not own a business or ran a business for an owner. I think he speaks in this way and sees nothing wrong with his words because he never started his own business nor has he ever ran a business. If President Obama and those that believe his words would start their own business they would see how foolish these statements are, especially when you begin to write checks, sign a lease, get your first tax bills, permits, lawyer's bill, accountant's bill, you begin to hire a staff, begin to work 13 hour days-7days a week and you are solely responsible ( not a teacher, not tax payers that paid for the roads & bridges to be build). Usually, there's noone but yourself to carry the bills, goal, energy because employees come and go and you are still left running the business. So, President Obama is speaking of something he knows nothing about and his words show it. Once again, he is confirming that he truly had never been in charge, responsible for even running a city or state office and he mainly stuck to community organizing and teaching part-time and only worked for a law firm someone else put together for 4 years.

    July 24, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Obama blathered on for quite a while advocating the role of government in everybodys success"

    And on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, MITTENS UNARGUABLY AGREED WITH THE EXACT POINT OBAMA WAS MAKING WHLE PRETENDING THAT OBAMA DESERVED CRITICISM FOR MAKING A POINT HE DIDN'T MAKE. Mittens and the GOP/Teatrolls are creating a straw man solely so they can try to steal the point Obama was making while criticizing a opint he wasn't trying to make...it's simple...mischaracterize what Obama said, claim it meant something it didn't, criticize what it didn't really mean and then say the same thing. Don't believe me?

    "There’s no question your mom and dad, your school teachers, the people that provide roads, the fire, the police. A lot of people help."
    -Deputy Doublethink, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.

    There can be absolutely no argument from the context of Obama's statements that he was making exactly that same point, made it before Mittens and Mittens is trying to steal it.

    July 24, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Pete

    Forward,you're just a misguided,delushional teapartiest who can't see the forest thru the trees and you're ignorent thinking the cats out of the bag.Democrates ,the intelligent ones in this campaign and the way congress has been acting we're also the only party that has adults also..Start reading the actual political facts and turn off that misguided republican propaganda machine in FOX,someday they'll have health warnings about that media trash,its amazing what lies are created there,but then again how much does Romney states as a presidencial candidate is truth,very little,very little indeed!!And republicans who aren't as ignorent as you know it!!

    July 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Who wants to be the first GOPer/Teatrolls to show brain activity by acknowledging that Mittens MADE THE EXACT SAME POINT IN A SPEACH ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2012? Hmmmmmm? Who? Or is the hivemind officially braindead?

    July 24, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Kimberly

    I cant WAIT for romney to say something and have it taken totally out of context, and used like this. The romney campaign is nothing but lies, misinformation and total crap!

    July 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Kimberly

    @myviewis-

    WRONG! This works for ANYONE that has EVER been a small business owner. 99% of them didnt get started with the money in their pockets, and not without help from sba or grants, or low interest rate government loans of some sort. The family owned companies that have been around for along time, same thing! Somewhere along the line a sba loan was probably given, so that that family running it now can say THEY didnt get any loans. NO it was handed to them already made, and only need be run. Stop with your crap! As a small business owner, I KNOW I used a sba loan and a grant. The grant is something most small business owners take advantage of. You are CLEARLY NOT a small business owner

    July 24, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Trusslady

    Yes, we the taxpayers did help to build your business. You didn't do it on your own unless you provided your own water, roads, education etc. What a large portion of you do not seem to get, is now that we have helped you be a success (I might add using our tax dollars), you now seem to think that you should be exempt from paying it forward. Or, in most cases, paying your fair share.
    It's a mentality of take, take, take or in Republican speak – screw you I got mine.

    July 24, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    The main question is still not being addressed which is why is it so important for President Obama and Democrats to diminish, belittle us business owners? Why does President Obama and Democrats think so little of us business owners? Does President Obama hope that our employees walk out on us, that they have no respect for us? At the end of the day President Obama doesn't think very highly of the owner of the restaurant he stopped in to have breakfast. Why is Obama picking on us business owners? In hopes that everyone goes to work for the government and we won't have employees? Why??????????

    July 24, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. drdiane50

    Puleeze!!! Obama the socialist??? Still beating that tired old meme? Get a grip on reality; Obama is nowhere near being a socialist. And indeed, as noted above, Romney has said EXACTLY the same things repeatedly (depending, of course, and which audience he was misleading at the time). No one is able to build a successful busniess – Steve Jobs brilliant or not – without the rest of us contributing in some way or other. Only an idiot would think otherwise.

    July 24, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Reggiedw

    Obama has never even been close to running a business and so he does not know what hard work it takes to make it work. Obama only knows how to be a community organizer and I think he should have stayed doing that because he has caused such a mess with our economy. We Americans voted in a totally inexperienced person as our president and we are now paying a price for it. His policies have been such a disaster on our economy that we definitely need a change. The office of the president is not a learn as you go job.......and we cannot afford another 4 years of this.There are some people who have good business sense and others who just do not get it. Obama is one of those who just do not get it so its for for him to go. Vote for Romney in Novemver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Myviewis

    Kimberly

    @myviewis-

    WRONG! This works for ANYONE that has EVER been a small business owner. 99% of them didnt get started with the money in their pockets, and not without help from sba or grants, or low interest rate government loans of some sort. The family owned companies that have been around for along time, same thing! Somewhere along the line a sba loan was probably given, so that that family running it now can say THEY didnt get any loans. NO it was handed to them already made, and only need be run. Stop with your crap! As a small business owner, I KNOW I used a sba loan and a grant. The grant is something most small business owners take advantage of. You are CLEARLY NOT a small business owner
    -------------------------

    I am a business owner and I did it with my own money, no loans, no grants and no family monies. I've been at this longer than your age. Thanks for trying to stick by President Obama.

    July 24, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. sbssue1

    And, Kimberly, how would you know that? No one ever gave me a nichol! Are you one that stands in line for a handout too?

    July 24, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    Kimberly – I cant WAIT for romney to say something and have it taken totally out of context, and used like this.
    ======================================================================================
    Obama's campaign has already done this many times. Liberals are such whiners... Grow a pair.

    July 24, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Pete

    Myviews,were you ever a business owner,I was and this president makes sense.What business can stay viable without infastructure,banks,roads,basic utilities,your business sense ,smarts being taught to you by teachers,morals instilled in you by your parents,pastors,relatives.That's what he's talking about and as usual you're too ignorent to get it right,I say the sky is blue,but in your mind its grey,that's your delushional thinking being given to you by probibly your republican parents at birth,but like most republicans I've seen ,they can be swayed just followers because of their ignorence,its a trait all you republicans just have to live with.Just remember Bush as an example,you not only voted for him once, but twice and that's ignorence in anybodies book,even mine!!

    July 24, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Asked if the release of this spot indicates the campaign is worried that the Romney campaign attacks are working, Jen Psaki, traveling press secretary for Obama, said that they won't "stand by" while Romney misconstrues the president's words.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    I like this. Mitt Romney is in control of the campaign conversation. Obama/ Biden 2012 is in the reaction mode. Mitt Romney is intelligent enough to maintain this strategic advantage to the win. Americans can see help is coming. Our economy does not need to perpetually wallow in the mud. We can get businesses hiring again and paying livable wages. We will put this American slump behind us and move forward better than ever. Romney 2012.

    July 24, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. IrvineCAVoter

    Yeah, Yeah, yada, yada...Mitt I still haven't seen your tax returns. Mitt your becoming Habitual Liar.
    Move Forward Obama 2012

    July 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    Mitt Romney admittedly started his campaign dishonestly taking words out of context and sadly continues.

    Not to mention, the multiple quotes from hypocritical Romney actually agreeing with the president's point.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    July 24, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Myviewis

    If anything it should be the government, teachers, president, senators, congressmen, GSA staff and those that build the roads and bridges that should be grateful to all of us tax payers for the money that was used to pay their salaries.

    July 24, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. n

    To justify their agenda, people believe and hear what they want to. It is a wast of time to exchange comments here. No matter what the facts are, haters of the president, will always be haters of this president. Romney has showed his true colors through and through . . . Romney has been on every side of every issue, he has flipped and he has flopped. They even put Romney side by side with himself. Now that was unbelievable, as we watch him cancelled out himself. Now He refuse to show us his tax returns as a good faith measure. Destroyed the computer hard drives after his term was up as governor of MA. I can go on and on. The facts are clear as day. Romney's character is lacking in all areas of what it takes to be a leader, and yet, here we are, wasting time trying to convince the oblivious.

    July 24, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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