Romney camp puts 'you didn't build that' on television
July 20th, 2012
08:07 AM ET
9 years ago

Romney camp puts 'you didn't build that' on television

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's presidential campaign continued blasting President Barack Obama for remarks made last week on the nature of private businesses, releasing a television ad on Friday in which a business owner claims Obama was "demonizing" him with his comments.

"These Hands," released initially as a web video on Thursday, features Jack Gilchrist, the owner of a metal fabricating company in New Hampshire, sharply criticizing the president for saying last week that business owners rely partly upon the government for their success.

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"If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama said at a rally in Roanoke, Virginia, on Friday. "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."

In the ad, only a portion of Obama's remarks are used – the spot quotes Obama saying "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own" and "If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

After playing the clips of the president, Gilchrist appears on screen to relay his experience in building a successful company.

"My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?" Gilchrist says.

Mitt Romney, he argues, would take a vastly different approach to small businesses as president.

"It's time we had somebody who believes in us, someone who believes that achievement should be rewarded, not punished. We need somebody who believes in America," Gilchrist says.

Obama's remark on small business became key to Romney's campaign this week. The GOP candidate began using the remark on the campaign trail Tuesday, became the centerpiece of his speech Wednesday. At one point in his remarks, Romney asked all business owners in the crowd to stand, thanking them for their hard work and chastising Obama for what he said was "the height of foolishness."

"It's like saying Steve Jobs didn't build Apple. Or Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft. Or that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor Company or that Ray Croc didn't build McDonalds or that Papa John didn't build Papa John's Pizza," Romney said.

Romney, citing the number of campaign fund-raisers Obama has held in the past six months, said the president's "priority is not creating jobs for the American people, his priority is trying to keep his own job and that's why he is going to lose it."

Obama's campaign say their rival's attacks take the president's words out of context, and that Romney actually agrees with the thrust of what Obama said last week.

"Romney actually agrees with what the President really said, which was 'If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.' This is just the latest example of Mitt Romney being willing to say anything," the Obama team said in a statement Thursday.

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    "There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepenuers and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. That’s an important thing.
    I know that you recognize a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the bank, the investors. There is no question your mom and dad, your school teachers. The people who provide roads, the fire, the police. A lot of people help."

    – Mitt Romney

    July 20, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. The Other Dale

    As mentioned before, Romney seems to be going out of his way to HELP Obama's campaign rather than hurt it with stuff like this.

    July 20, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. curious

    Obama's right again. It was the employees and the customers who have built most companies not the profit takers. If the profit takers poor management practices causes loses, then there is always bankruptcy.

    July 20, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. works for me

    What a Richard Cranium this Romney is. Pulls spots, twists them and broadcasts them. Can he get any lower? This isn't what President was saying. I guess Romney believes all of us don't read the whole article. All of us rely on his sound bites to sway us. I, for one of millions, do not fall for this and I would never consider Team GOP. I want Team USA...
    OBAMA 2012

    July 20, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The thing is that there was some support for the idea or infrastucture already there to support the growth of the idea. The idea that one person can build something from nothing is not true in this day and age. There are ages of previous ideas and research that has happened before. Roads were built to help you get there; books and language developed so that there is the ability to communicate.

    Yes, the business was built with little outside help. but there were things were there before.

    July 20, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. Kenny K

    Obama team need to play President Obama's statement and Mr. Romney's statement next to each other so that people can compare and contrast. Mr. Romney is lying with the ad.

    July 20, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    "It's like saying Steve Jobs didn't build Apple. Or Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft. Or that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor Company or that Ray Croc didn't build McDonalds or that Papa John didn't build Papa John's Pizza," Romney said.
    Steve Jobs attended a public school, as did Bill Gates. Henry Ford didn't build the roads that his vehicles, tax dollars provided them. Fast food restaurants could not function with the infrastructure provided by public utilities, and the roads that bring the foods that are still fresh to their commissaries.

    None of their businesses would have succeeded without educated people with advanced degrees from colleges and univiersities. Many of them had student loans.

    July 20, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. Tony

    Will Romney reveal how he built Bain, by releasing his tax returns? Probably not. It is likely that he received plenty of tax breaks from the government along the way.

    July 20, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    Big BS. Tax please, cayman island money please, Swiss please. Obama12.

    July 20, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    In between spouting lies Willard, the American people demand to see your tax returns. You have no privacy, you're running for POTUS for Pete's sake. Gosh.

    July 20, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. Boisepoet

    So the ad is dishonest in that it edits Obama's remarks to make it say something he really didn't say (once it's removed from context). Seems since Romney's campaign can't deal with the facts, they create lies.

    July 20, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens' campaign has to have hired dozens of full time 'splice and edit' people to run his lies and distortion campaign.

    July 20, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. chuck weidemann

    We all have had a little help along the think otherwise is the height of arrogance. I am a small business owner and know I did not build this on my own and that only in America would I be able to do what I do......nobody gave it to me,and I have worked hard but a lot of things have gone into getting here including public funded education!!! I am grateful to this country and its values of equality and fairness!!!

    July 20, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Texas Bob

    Steve Jobs did not build Apple. He got a lot of help and big bucks from Bill Gates. Everyone has help. Don't take comments out of context. Mr. Romney I wonder what kind of President you would make. I am not impressed by this false AD.

    July 20, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Frank Tillery

    After listening to what the President actually said, I must agree. Our physical and virtual infrastructures on which most of our commerce depends was, in fact, a direct or indirect result of governement spending. No one disputes the initiative and drive of the American people. Of course, each owner took the initiative to create and develope their business. Did they do it without the help of anyoen else? Unlikely. The teacher, mentor, investor, and yes, even the federal and state governemtns contributed one way or another to that business owner's success.

    I guess we can expect this nonsense througout this election season. Too bad. We have some real issues and we need to know which of the candidates is best suited to lead.

    July 20, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. I want to see Robme's Tax Returns

    He's hiding something.

    July 20, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. JasonP

    Mitt's only chance is doctoring and editing footage. If it's truth versus truth, he's done.

    July 20, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. anagram_kid

    Gov. Romney’s campaign is imploding before our very eyes. He can’t run on his record as governor of Massachusetts and now since he cannot even tell us when he worked at Bain that strategy is out the window as well. So this is what he has left – lies and deceitful editing. Here is something his supporters need to understand. People that lie like with this much ease do not discriminate about who they lie to; and that includes you.

    July 20, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. livingston

    Do they really think the the thinking American public does not realise that they have taken the remark out of context? Again. But by all means, insult our intelligence. Again. All your doing is shooting your self in the foot. Again.

    July 20, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. NameAnonymous

    It makes it easier to redistribute wealth if you believe those that have it did not earn it. If you did not build your business, the profits from the business really do not belong to you. Obama speaks from his heart.

    July 20, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  21. JEB

    It's amazing how the Obama campaign thinks they can turn "You didn't build that. Someone else built it for you." into "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.". The only common thread between the two statements is "You're not personally responsible.". Of course, to an administration that believes that government is the answer to all ills, that applies to success, failure and anything else that might apply.

    July 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. Scott

    Got to love it , Finally Romney is fighting back. Just goes to show you how out of touch Obama is with the business world. "A little different then organizing communtiy yard sales is'nt it Obama". Go back to Chicago where you belong, and let real men like Romney get this country back on its feet. Romney/Rubio 2012/2016.

    July 20, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. John

    Without roads,bridges,electricity,water,rail,air and the Internet where would the companies be today. Romney has taken Obama's quote and twisted it with lies. Infrastructure is needed for any company to survive. It is common sense. The GOP have it all wrong and continue to spread their lies......

    July 20, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. Tony Z

    I wish Romney would stop misquoting the President and than using the same lines. Lets begin the real debate on moving America Forward. We are behind because we allow someone else to manufacture what we buy. The so called job creators have made their money this way.

    July 20, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Average American

    Oh good grief...Pres. Obama said you didn't build the roads, infrastructure, etc (which is true)...NOT you didn't build your business.

    July 20, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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