Ryan builds on Obama comment in Roanoke
August 22nd, 2012
12:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan builds on Obama comment in Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia (CNN) – Paul Ryan on Wednesday visited the Southwest Virginia town where President Barack Obama made his "you didn't build that" remark that has since been seized upon by Republicans, including Mitt Romney's campaign, and has become a major theme of the presidential race.

The local small business owner who introduced the vice presidential candidate at an outdoor morning rally underscored that point. According to Chris McMurray, owner of Crumb and Get It Cookie Co. in nearby Radford, he turned down an invitation from the Obama campaign for Vice President Joe Biden to appear at his bakery last week.

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"I caught a little attention for telling the vice president that though I respect him very much, I would not like to be used as a photo op for his campaign. Nothing personal, but I just happen to disagree with the president and the vice president on a few things," McMurray said.

Ryan, dressed in a blue polo shirt, khakis and cowboy boots, bounced off McMurray's comments to highlight his running mate's business background as an example that Romney knows how to improve the economy.

"[Obama] said last summer was going to be the summer of recovery. It's a summer later and it's still worse. He said that the private sector is doing just fine, we need more government. This is President Obama's imaginary recovery. It's not here."

He added, "We have a mountain of uncertainty that's plaguing small businesses and we have a person in Mitt Romney who knows through experience the challenge that businesses face, how job creation works, that the engine of opportunity, the nucleus of our economy is not the government, but the successful small business, the entrepreneurs, the people of this country."

The dueling presidential candidates and their campaigns dispute each other's interpretation of the president's unscripted comment about business at the rally in Roanoke last month.

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 hasn't stopped the Romney campaign from continuing to build on the narrative that Obama is "out of touch" with small businesses.

Paul never uttered "You didn't build it" at the event but the words were emblazoned on a huge sign next to the seven-term congressman and House Budget Committee chairman and he has been pushing the campaign's message at rallies in battleground states since he joined the ticket on August 11.

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Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there was no support in the Congress for the needed programs to get certian things running and funded. As for the "didn't build it " commnet, it just is going to say that there is nothing built from the ground up because we are always building on the past activities and learning.

    August 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Pam from Iowa

    Ryan certainly did not build his fortune!!
    If anyone is out of touch, it is Romney and Ryan! Two 1 percenters!!!

    August 22, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    LIAR LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!!! Once again taking the President's words out of context. Get out of my state spreading LIES. The "Summer of Recovery" was more like a "Summer of Obstruuction." Paul Ryan and his obstructionists republican colleagues are the reason for a slow recovery.

    August 22, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Thomas

    The media, including CNN, is not doing its job and letting candidates get away with lie after lie and reprinting the lies over and over without taking the candidates to task. Do your job please, the integrity of our election process depends on it.

    August 22, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ryan can continue to say "Obama is the problem and he's the solution" when in fact he is one of the do nothing Congressmen. Interesting how Romney separates himself from his governorship and Ryan separates himself from a member of Congress. It's past time to ask the tough questions, WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR.

    August 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    What Obama DID build is a huge government debt bubble that will explode on the next president, likely Romney. Then the Democrats will blame Romney for it, just like they blamed Bush.

    Democrats do one thing very well, create unsustainable financial disasters that explode years down the road, and then blame others. Their answer is always, well just tax those other people more, and more, and more, and more.

    August 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. damo12345

    A reprehensible tactic. Obama praised one of the most praiseworthy things about America, that we are stronger as a society from working together, and these dishonest men just won't stop painting it as an attack on hard-working business owners. They know they're lying at this point, and they just don't care.

    August 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. drachenx

    If the daily show on comedy central can show a talking point you are using to be blantly false, perhaps you should not use that point. Just saying.

    August 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    What type presidential candidate would build his campaign on a lie? Most of what Romney and Ryan talk about are lies. Do they feel that they are slick and smart enough to pull this off or do they think their fellow republicans are gullible and ignorant enough to accept it?

    August 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Expat American

    Romney/Ryan should offer a more truthful addition to their strategy of taking the President’s words out of context.

    “Even if you 'built' it, trust the GOP, you're aren't rich enough to keep it..."

    August 22, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. love344@tiscali.it

    silly rabbit..

    August 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Keith A. Sillsbury

    "This is President Obama's imaginary recovery" I don't know where you get your news, wait, yes I do... the fake news network with the call letters F..O..X. but bottom ground companies like Caterpillar are hiring like crazy and making record profits and their buisness is to build your buisness from the ground up so as for the recovery, dispite republican efforts to stop anykind of recovery of AMERICA, IT IS HAPPENING and come election time we voters will speak loud and clear to you republicans by voting ALL YOU OUT.

    August 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. kakaraka

    So Rommey Ryan build their campaign totally on lies, distortions and out of contexts words? These are not facts. These are shameful and immoral behaviors by the Romney campaign. They are dishonnest to keep using out of contest and distorted words.

    August 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. mcskadittle

    it is funny because Ryans fortune came from government contracts build roads

    August 22, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    Ryan is starting to sound real stupid but I guess when you help write unpopular legislation and then pretend to "distance" yourself from it, you have no other choice. The American people are not stupid Ryan and we know who and where you get your ideas from (Ayn Rand), and those ideas should be no where near the Oval Office.

    August 22, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Core republican Values

    Ryan is creepy, and just another cheap republican hypocrite.

    August 22, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Expat American

    So if you are successful selling real estate….yet didn’t build the homes that you sell….so what are Romney and Ryan trying to say here…?

    August 22, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. lnd72

    It's true that the "You didn't build that" part of the speech refers to infrastructure, but if you read the full quote, it's obvious that President Obama has little respect for those who take the risk to start an enterprise. The following quotes from the first part of the speech make that obvious.

    "I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. "

    "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else."

    A lot of us who start businesses are not rich. We put our financial future on the line to make it happen. These are the kinds of businesses that provide good living wage jobs and benefits for others.

    August 22, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Timmothy

    OK, then if We did Build it. Then what do we need the SBA (Small Business Administration") for

    August 22, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. JD

    Roads are very often from issue of municipal bonds purchased by investors looking for a tax advantage or interest pay down which is done through tax collection, like property taxes and sales taxes that are, you guessed it, directly linked to the business. So. The businesses paid for the road that was built.

    Free loaders use the roads that business paid for, for free.

    August 22, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Sandra

    Nothing stops the Romeny campaign from lies, lies, lies. This current bunch of republicans is the primary reason why I don't think I will ever vote republican again. They are power hungry animals who want power at all cost. If only the people who listen to them would even do ANY research then they would clearly see the lies they spew. Sickening.
    BTW, for you right wing nuts, I don't like lies from either side. The biggest difference is that republicans have been practicing deceit for so many years, they know nothing else.

    August 22, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Kishman

    Joe the Plumber didn't help John McCain. In fact, it contributed to his demise. This lie about 'You didn't built that' doesn't tell any story that will convince one independent voter.

    August 22, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Lisa P

    One crumb introduces another. They're both for the birds! But keep right on, GOP, not talking about Romney's plans or his real record or the many ways he *avoided* investing in the very same United States of America that he now claims he is fit to lead.

    President Obama is spending today talking about education, our nation's future. Thank God one candidate has his priorities straight!

    August 22, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. California Gary

    Ryan voted for every budget busting bill that came along under Bush.......and has voted to obstruct everything Obama has tried to do to boost the economy. He is not the solution.......he is a very big part of the problem. What a phony. By the way.......what did he ever build?

    August 22, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    "Democrats do one thing very well, create unsustainable financial disasters that explode years down the road, and then blame others."
    ------------------------------------------------
    Please explain to me years 2001-2009. We place blame where it rightfully belongs. Here's an example. Brace yourself for this one. "Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S." I believe that's the accurate phrase given to George W. Bush in his daily briefing. And just a few months afterwards, Bin Laden did just that. Not to mention that OBL said that besides for attacking us, his other goal was to BANKRUPT us. That cowboy of a President played right into his hands and put wars on the credit card. Let's not forget about his unpaid for Medicare expansion and those tax cuts. You republicans live in a constant state of DENIAL. The Troubled Asset Relief Program(TARP) was formed under the Bush Administration. Why? Because you republicans went on a spending spree and deregulated everything. So, yes! We point the fingers at you!

    August 22, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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