Obama campaign: New ad takes on 'build that' attacks
July 24th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
11 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.

β€œIt'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. Sniffit

    "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? "

    Nobody's doing that. NOBODY. You eiher accept the undeniable reality that in order for you and the rest of the small business owners out there to exist, survive and thrive you absolutey need a strong, healthy, centralized federal government with sufficient revenue to create and maintain the kind of infrastructure and programs that allow you to do so...or you don't accept that undeniable reality and believe in some fantasy world in which almost zero tax revenue and no regulation magically, but without explanation of how, leads to everyone being prosperous. Nobody is demeaning small business owners by demanding that you recognize, admit and acknowledge that simple fact. If you;'re in the latter camp and insist on believing the GOP/Teatrolls' ideological nonsense and intentionally misinterpreting anyone callnig on you to recognize reality, rather than pandering to you and fluffing your egoes, as "demeaning" or "dminishing" you, then please put your tinfoil hat back on and go back to sleep.

    July 24, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Marty, FL

    Pres. Obama passed one of the largest tax cuts for 98% of Americans and small businesses. The president understands Americans together collectively contribute to build the foundation for our businesses to succeed.

    Honest context matters.

    July 24, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Paul

    No man is an island to himself. What is the difference between that and what the President said. Everyone has help. Nobody does everything himself or herself. You have teachers, parents, freinds, family baby sitters, dog walkers etc. We are all in this together. So people do great thngs but those people had help. What is so bad about that?

    July 24, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Darryl

    Everybody knows what the President meant, Romney just twists things to make people who have no comon sence believe something else.We have a great goverment and if it were not for our gov. we couldn't have a thriveing economy and sucessful bussinesses. Compare our goverment to other countrys, Now tell me how you feel ? LOL..LOL..I think you'll agree.............The only thing our goverment has done very badly on is the GUN issue. That needs to be contained

    July 24, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Okay, so based on President Obama's philosophy and everything you guys are saying to me than I think it is only correct for government employees, including President Obama, to take a cut in their salaries and benefits to alleviate the burden we are all carrying in paying more taxes to support our government.

    July 24, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Romney is a LIAR

    Read my name, says it all!

    July 24, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    No man is an island to himself. What is the difference between that and what the President said. Everyone has help. Nobody does everything himself or herself.
    It's a matter of magnitude. I'm sorry, but I put my home, my life savings and my career at risk based on an idea that I could create and manage a new company. I took no pay for 5 years, all the while paying plenty of taxes to local, State and Federal governments in many different ways. The government didn't build my business. The government didn't give me any ideas, make any sacrifices or take any risks. But they will be the first bill I pay when taxes are due.

    July 24, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Blake

    "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??????????"


    You can't answer the question because that's not what he's doing. What he's trying to convey is how important it is to have a Government taking care of things like infrastructure or making sure citizens have chances at opportunity, even if it takes some government help. Republicans are so anti-Government, anti-social programs (things that effect you while being gung ho about military spending) and anti-infrastructure spending (like roads aren't needed or replacing 100-150 year old bridges, gas lines, watermains etc... cmon really?), that they may defund a lot of these things thereby hurting small business creation and hurting middle class America (well all of a America) and you.

    Do you really think you would be better off or would have been able to setup a small business in a place with no government spending, no safety nets, bad infrastructure or no security/policing? A place like Somalia? How would your small business do if the municipality/state couldn't afford policing because of heavy cutbacks? Would you feel safer hiring private firms? How much would that cost and cut into your bottom line? Would you be able to get insurance or a loan in an area without true emergency services? Just an example...

    People take government, government spending and western society for granted... Government isn't there for the giggles. It's there to govern and keep society flourishing, serviced, safe and well kept. Taxes etc. are the price for that.

    July 24, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Mikey

    @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?"
    I guess you are not getting the point and it is doubtful that you will. That being said, the point Obama is making is that everyone benefits from things that the Government provides. If you have a business, you transport your goods on the roads supported by taxes. You utilize ports and airports. You hire people educated at public expense. The fire department protects you premises. You utilize publically subsidized energy and commodoties, such as timber and minerals. The police department ensures you don't have to worry as much about being robbed. You may, yourself, received public (or publically subsidized) education. These things, and many more, are public goods that the private sector is unlikely to provide.

    The point is not that you did not earn your success, but that you received a lot of support along the way (try creating a business in Somolia). The problem comes when those who have been successful want to use the money and power that have earned to change the system so they don't have to pay fair taxes; to climb the ladder of success and then pull it up so it is harder for others to do the same. The selfish seem to want to downsize America and to rob out children of the American Dream, just so they can have a bigger bank account or a few more toys.

    Just recognize that you weren't just talented and hardworking, but that you did receive societal benefits and maybe even had some good fortune in your life. You are just being asked not to be selfish and "pay if forward" for the next generation, so they can have the advantages that you had.

    I am sorry if you cannot understand this. I trust that most Americans, even sucessful ones, can.

    July 24, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Deb Schmidt

    There wasn't any road that built our business. It was sweat, and hard work and I can assure you that there was no "fluff" involved. It was all about taking care of our workers and our customers with dignity and respect that built our business. It's called integrity not government.The president said exactly what he holds in his heart. It's time for a change.

    July 24, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS


    New York Times/CBS poll taken last week....

    Forty-seven percent of registered voters nationwide who lean towards a candidate back Romney, while 46 percent support the president. Four percent are undecided.

    You may start attacking the left leaning New York Times and CBS now....

    July 24, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. kayla

    somehow these idiots want you to think that romney knows what he is doing, the man is clueless

    July 24, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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