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

    Seeing Mini Mitt in from of a bnner reminds me that since age 16 he has been receiving a government check. What did he build besides a false reputation.

    August 22, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |

    I've got to give it to Paul Ryan. He can tell a pants on fire LIE with a straight face. He's almost better than TAX CHEAT running mate of his. Until Willard releases his taxes, I'm going to keep assumming he either broke the law or he didn't pay taxes at all. I think he broke the law. As long as I & the 65% of American people who want you to release your taxes have this lingering question in our head, I don't see how in hell you're going to win. Oh. My bad. Ya'll plan on cheating and stealing the election. Willard, you have alot in common with a famous criminal gangster: Al Capone. You both are tax cheats.

    August 22, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Curt

    Typical republicans trying to spin what the President said. What he meant was that it takes infrastructure and other things to make businesses succeed. Remember it does not matter what Romney may have visions of doing, if he's elected and has to deal with a do-nothing congress nothing will get done. I'am still betting that his tax records show that all his talk of investing in America will be proven to be wrong and will prove he's making money investing outside of the country. No doubt thats the reason he will not produce more tax records. Romney is so out of touch with the average American. Remember when he told students " just borrow money from your parents for school " Unfortunately most kids don't have millionaires for parents like he did who I'am sure paid for everything. I've never heard him say how much student debt he had when he graduated.

    August 22, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Brehon

    Why doesn't CNN get after the sheer persistence of the Republican ticket's use of false, out-of- context and plain falsehoods? I understand the "both sides do it" rationale, but the reality is that the ration of use of falsehoods, especially once shown as false, is no match up at all. This is a conscious and determined Republican strategy.

    As has been said by one Republican wit: "Why shouldn't we lie. If people knew what we have actually done and plan to do we'd never get elected."

    August 22, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. EX Republican

    Ryan sound a reject clown on stage telling lies just like his friend Romney..Ryan why did you lie about the stimulas money and Akin rape rampage.

    Do Not vote for Romney/Ryan same ole dirty politics we dont need fools to run our country.

    August 22, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. rs

    Gee! If Mr. Ryan believed the lie he is perpetrating, then one must assume he is against the $400 billion that the government gives to oil companies in "incentive" subsidies each year. Funny, I'm not hearing that......

    August 22, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. anthony76

    Willard and Ryan.. where are the facts, where are the taxes?

    August 22, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. curious

    Employees and loyal customers build businesses.

    August 22, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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