Romney drives a truck through Obama's 'build that' remark
July 19th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
10 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. Marc

    Bye bye Bama.

    July 20, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  2. midwestmatt

    Not only has Mitt NOT worked a day in his life (real work entails risk without the guarantee of a reward, something Mitt has never faced a day in his privileged life) he manages to flip flop on every single issue, including the healthcare reform legislation he personally and repeatedly championed while Governor of Massachusetts. A reform that looks, walks, and talks just like the ACA despite all his whining to the opposite.

    Romney is hiding income and bank accounts because he knows he's paying even less tax than he's stated in the past. Why else would he refuse to release his tax returns like his own father did when he ran for President? His tax strategy is to cheat us out of as much as he can so he can make sure he leads a life of pure leisure.

    Mitt is wrong for the party, wrong for the office and wrong for America. The GOP has doubled down on stupidity after the (formerly) honorable Senator McCain decided on his imbecilic partner, Palin, putting the party on a path to nowhere.

    July 20, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  3. Max Powers

    What good is a body shop without publicly funded roads?

    July 20, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  4. enuff

    Was it literally since Romney is just following Obama around the nation in his bus/truck?

    July 20, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  5. enuff

    asIf voters have to show i.d.s to show who they really are, candidates should be required to show their tax returns to show they are who they say they are. it will eliminate fraud, right?

    July 20, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  6. enuff

    Obama didn't serve in Vietnam because hw wasn't OLD ENOUGH. it's hard to draft an 8 year old.

    July 20, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  7. WeR4Freedom

    Obama has ruined his campaign on yet another wierd belief that it was partially his success why I have a business today... LOL get over yourself. You didn't do one thing to help me out. Instead you created an atmosphere where it is hard to operate a business and make money because taxes are so high on businesses. It is cheaper to run this business out of this country where taxes are lower. Who's fault is that? Commander in Cheif. You are the biggest outsource individual this country has ever seen. My vote and all the business owners vote and anyone who wants a better economy votes' go to Romney 2012. And stay at home moms too!

    July 20, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    Gosh I must be missing something, but the Guy Romney stood with just validated Obama's thesis. Take the quote from Brian Maloney himself in the third from last para of this article. I paraphrase I started with $500 went to grad school ( education) my wife supported me and then we made a business.
    Anything Romney has said her is contextually inaccurate and will not pass fact checking even remotely viz aviz what Obama said or maloney said himself.
    Just think please for truck and coach companys the innovations he has to understand /use are Tachographs, cruise controls on trucks fuel injection computer control systems, all invented somewhaer somehos amd on which he had to either be taught to understand or study so he coulds use them and instruct his staff, all of which validates further Obama actual comments.

    July 20, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  9. frag

    Just look at the enthusiasm on the faces of the people in this picture! They all look like they just got their lunch hour canceled.

    July 20, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  10. MikeinNM

    Quote out of context, and distort the message Obama was making. GOP desperately glomming on to edited "morsels" they think they can capitalize upon. Capitalize this Mitt: SHOW US YOUR TAXES!

    July 20, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  11. More Respect

    Listen to the Presidents speech in its entirety before making any comments that make you sound ignorant.

    I agree with the POTUS: tax payers do pay for public (Elementary, Jr. High, High, Universities) schools, roads, libraries, bridges etc….. With-out these many Privileges /Conveniences shared by ALL of us, we would not be the Society/Nation that we are.

    Businesses would not have an Educated work-force. No highways, No roads to move Goods and Provide Services. We as tax payers would not have/share these Privileges.

    Imagine living in a third world country, where all you have are Dirt Roads to get around, no public schools, DECENT Clean Drinking Water etc. With no regulations what-so-ever or government intervention that’s where America is heading.

    May I suggest to some (Stop the Name Calling and Get Serious) of you OUT THERE try living in a Third World Country for One (1) Year. I think those Complaining the Most would NOT last a Week. You just might learn to Appreciate what you have and to have more Respect, even if you don’t agree with others!!!

    July 20, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  12. don

    Mitt. Give us one example of someone that did it on his own. Without public schools roads or even "evil" regulations. Quit being so dishonest will you?

    July 20, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  13. Cheney literally doesn't have a heart

    Show us your taxes!!

    July 20, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    Mitt never becomes POTUSofA. Rule 10, for every damn dirty thing say "American People". As though you care.

    July 20, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  15. Scott

    Romney has a point, OBama is so out of touch with the American worker and middle class. Hear Obama tell it everything that is sucessful is tied to the goverment. When in reality goverment hinders businesses with all their red tape. Obama is trying to pattern this countary after the socialist countries of Europe, which most of them are going bankrupt. To think that a coummnity organizer who organized yard sales for a living knows how to run this country is laughable. Elect a proven leader Romney/Rubio 2012 for a better America.

    July 20, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. Out Of Touch with reality

    we built our own company, but obama helped shut it down by destroying the economy, VOTE obama OUT !!!

    July 20, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  17. PMorgan

    Romney claimed owning a dancing dressage horse as a business investment and declared a passive loss of $77,731 on his 2010 tax returns for the care and feeding of his dressage horse Rafalca which is owned in an LLC. The loss allowed Romney to take a $49 tax deduction after netting against other passive losses.

    It is very sad that Romney who has been in the public eye for at least a decade and after choosing to make himself the subject of even more scrutiny as a presidential candidate could not resist taking such a minute deduction relative to his income and net worth even though he should be smart enough to know how bad it would look and the obvious political problems it would generate...even it was perfectly legal.

    The Romney dressage horse deduction shows that a very, very, very, rich man could not resist trying to get just a tiny, little bit more by taking a deduction that would let him keep a measly $49 instead of giving the $49 to the country he supposedly wants to unite, improve, and lead as its President.

    Clearly the issue is not whether the deduction was legal. The issues are that the deduction illustrates flaws in the tax code, Romney's lack of political awareness, his insensitivity to the common man, his obnoxious greed, his selfishness, and his indeed a lack of patriotism...yes lack of patriotism.

    The kind of patriotism asked of all Americans, Democrats and Republicans, by President Kennedy when he said "My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."

    Mitt Romney is worth over $250 million but when faced with the choice to claim a dressage horse business loss or not to claim it Romney choose to claim the loss and take the deduction because he could not spare $49 bucks for America.

    July 20, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  18. Sad

    No matter what he said or he did not say, in my mind, he only believes in the role of government. Now it is up to the American people to decide what kind of president they would like to have in the white house. Just simple as that. These are two very different candidates.

    July 20, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
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