Ryan builds on Obama comment in Roanoke
August 22nd, 2012
12:21 PM ET
6 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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.

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Now Ryan is starting to sound just like Breitbart Ryan, why dont you repeat President Obama entire comment rather then editing it like the Breitbart you are.,

    August 22, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    kakaraka – So Rommey Ryan build their campaign totally on lies, distortions and out of contexts words? These are not facts.

    HE SAID IT!! HE MEAN'T IT!!! LIVE WITH IT!!! Obama is nothing but a big government advocate. He's a socialist. About time he came out of the closet.

    Obama, July 13: There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

    If you were 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.

    August 22, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Doug

    Yes, by all means let's elect someone based on a snippet of a quote, taken out of context. (sarcasm). By "it" Obama means infrastructure, roads, internet, education etc. Did you build that? Or perhaps society and (gasp) government was of some help? Do we really think socialized roads are a bad idea?

    August 22, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. jaimie

    Ryan and Romney............ Laurel and Hardy of the 21st century

    August 22, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Mark

    You can't run a campaign on an out of contest statement or twisted half-lie....yet that is what Romney/Ryan are doing.

    You can only get so much traction out of "You can't build that"....or Mediscare and Welfare attacks. That is fine to fire up the base". But indies see through it....

    Give me a reason to vote FOR you instead of a half truth on why not to vote for the other guy.

    August 22, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Ray

    I will not vote for a person with no core, draft dodger,wouldn't release his taxes, destroy his record as governor, hide this record from the games, and flip flop more than dozen pancake to go.

    August 22, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Ryan builds on Obama comment in Roanoke"

    Awww, isn't that cute? Gotta love a guy who can double-down a vapid straw man argument while hoping his pretty lapdog eyes will distract people from the real issues and get them to believe his misrepresentations of what someone else said.

    August 22, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Joe

    Oh yes, Obama and Binden are so truthfull and never lie....please.... Wake up people! Obama has been doing nothing but pointing fingers and lying about everything to distract the FACTS. If McCain would have won the election and 40+ months later the unelmployment rate was at 8.3% every single one of you liberals would be running around screaming that McCain has to go. But because Obama won, you are in complete denial of reality.

    August 22, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Pete

    There he is again running on lies he created ,much like his idol Romney the Mormon leper..They speak ill truths but don't know any better,they can't run on their congresssional collegues accomplishments,they don't have any.They have raised the bar for obstructionism having set a record for fillibusters since 2009 and halting this country from getting itself back on its feet,are you republicans proud,what patriotic behavior,yah more treasonistic if you ask me and they should be shown the door if I had anything to do about it...But it'll start in November with your rep Akin leaving congress and it'll spread like the plague,all republicans thinking they're invincible will be booted and you can blame that McConnell and Boehner guys just for that fact...The fact that they are racially biased,they just hate people of another color,especially black telling them what to do and being more intelligent,there shouldn't be envy,petty bickering in politics,there should be equality in politics but there isn't and race ,color shouldn't be allowed to be an issue,the republicans just haven't grown up yet that's all,plain and simple!!

    August 22, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. MaryM

    Ryan is part of the congress that said NO to President Obama just so they could try to make him and one term President and in the process deliberately HURT the American People. Romney and Ryan are two rubes cut from the same mold. Screw the American people for their own agendas.

    August 22, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    LOL@ the GOP grasping onto the "you didn't build that" line. It's completely taken out of context...yet they don't care at all. They should be ashamed...if they actually knew what shame was.

    August 22, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    maybe one day Romney and Ryan will actually quote the WHOLE speech the president made but that would be too much like right. Besides wtih the current congress and their 10% approval rating NOTHING is being build anyway and our roads and bridges are falling apart......the GOP at one time favored infrastucture until they found Obama did too.

    August 22, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Marry

    Chris McMurray, have you not noticed how “well” the party of “NO” and “H E L L NO” has worked for you since the President is in office (and before when they were in office)? See, we all would be a lot better off if the GOP/TP had not sabotaged all efforts to make the economy better. So, if you are a smart business man (and you do not sound like a hater) than you should think a little more intensely and take a very close look at what the GOP/TP stands for. I am sure you can figure it out and would then see the President has worked a lot better for you than the GOP ever could and deserves your vote!

    August 22, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Joi Gibson

    The more I see of this man, the more distasteful he becomes. Willard does not want to speak of his time at Bain so how are we supposed to believe he really, really, REALLY knows how to create jobs. From what I have ascertained, it is more like he cuts companies and their workers off at the knees, and then rakes in millions of dollars, puts that in offshore accounts, and rakes in more money. Willard does not want to discuss his time as governor of Massachussets. And, imagine your surprise, he does not want to talk about what he would like to do in Afghanistan. All this should wait until after the election. For a so-called businessman, he should know better than saying I will tell you how I will do the job after you hire me. That alone should make people have serious doubts about Willard. And par for the course, Ryan is taking no responsibility for his actions in Congress, who is causing many of the problems this country is facing. But hey, just blame President Obama.


    August 22, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. S-Hug

    If everyone were a businessman, nobody would be in business. Customers create businesses, and customer demand creates jobs for employees, who further build the businesses. CEOs too often give all the credit to themselves. So, in many ways, you certainly did not build that on your own.

    August 22, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ryan met the two qualifications to run on the ticket with the Mormon Brotherhood, he is catholic and a deer hunter. Even Palin passed the swimsuit competition, which most republican congressmen don't need.

    August 22, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    A campaign based on a lie? Is that what you're running on. Paulie? Perhaps it will distract from your crappy budget proposal and do nothing congressional record... Ladies and Gentlemen- I give you the "party before county" GOP. Wisconsin weeps...

    August 22, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. rs

    Everyone knows that isn't what the President said. Does Ryan not know how tainted his remarks become when he perpetuates the GOP/FOX lie? Does this mean everything Romney/Ryan are running on are lies? Probably. They can't even get straight their campaign positions this past week. If lies is all they have they may as well embrace the truth:
    They are anti-women
    They are anti-worker
    They are anti-union
    They are anti-minimum wage
    They are anti-poor
    They are anti-elderly
    They are anti-regulation
    They are anti-Edication
    They are anti civil and voting rights
    They are FOR the obscene tax cuts for the rich
    They are for corporate subsidies
    Come on guys, embrace the crazy. Tell us who you really are!

    August 22, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Bob

    Obama is starting to sound real stupid, even more so then normal. Worst president ever. And yes I did build this.

    August 22, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Barry Obama, NJ, US

    all you silly socialists don't apparently realize that when you put Obama's words INTO context – surrounding the "you didn't build that" sound bite with the preceding and following sentences, as CNN has done in this article, IT SOUNDS EVER WORSE. AT THE VERY LEAST, that speech was a terribly sloppy construction, if not a revelatory moment for the man who really believes that America is not unique, who really believes in a dark,cynical view that man left to his own devices will cheat and manipulate others. HOPE AND CHANGE, right?...

    August 22, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Nametodd harrison

    I read the Obama transcripts from that speech... he did say that. That was the context of the speech... calling Obama on that is NOT a lie. The Dem prof running against Brown for the senate, gave a similar speech... based on the "you did not build that" theme. Look it up.

    August 22, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Romney is not My Hero

    How on earth is the GOP making this ventriloquist doll appear to speak by himself? I am simply amazed! Is this what's drawing those huge crowds (of around 50 GOPets)?

    OBAMA 2012!!!

    August 22, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. IDontBelieveIt

    "I f you built a business, you didn't build it, somebody else did that ........." simply underlines Obama's main principle. He REALLY wants the government to take credit for EVERYTHING. He's saying that individuals are NOTHING without government – a bit like Russia and China!

    By saying what he did he's going against EVERYTHING that the United States of America was built on ---hard work, Individual opportunities for success and freedom to CHOOSE how we do it! Obama wants to be the "Big I Am" doling out success and taking all the credit.

    He's disrespecting a wonderful heritage – he's dividing the country in the most harmful way – he's meddling and interfering everywhere but NOT doing HIS OWN job! He needs to go.

    August 22, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. george of the jungle

    the republican party has built this campaign on lies and will not back down. Even after they have been proven wrong. Is this what we want for our president and vice president? Two liers? Forward 2012 Moving slowley but in the right direction.

    August 22, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. The Blame Game

    8.3% unemployment: 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.

    When George W. Bush took office, the debt was $5.768 trillion. By the time Bush left office, it had nearly doubled to $10.626 trillion. You may not like the inconvenience of the truth, but nevertheless those are the facts. I guess if the Republicans had actually reduced the debt instead of almost doubling it, maybe then Democrats would not "blame Bush" for his contribution. Paul Ryan actually voted for all of that debt and stimulus and unfunded wars and raising the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush. Bush was not a fiscal conservative, and Paul Ryan was certainly not either. You might say that Bush did build a "debt bubble that will explode on the next president," but I think there is enough blame to go around for both parties on the debt issue.

    You seem to be worried quite unnecessarily about who is going to be blamed for the debt. I think it is safe to relax pal, the chances of Romney actually winning the presidential election are looking smaller and smaller every day. Remember, Romney is the guy who lost to the guy who lost to President Obama 4 years ago. He's quite literally sloppy seconds from last election and the guy who was passed over for Vice President in favor of Sarah Palin. There's really not much chance anyone will be blaming Romney for anything except chosing a bad running mate.

    August 22, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
1 2 3