Updated at 8:20 p.m. with response from the Romney campaign to Obama’s ad.
The squabble over “You Didn’t Build That” continues.
The line has taken on a life of its own, giving birth not only to a new internet meme but also at least one news story about lemonade-stand entrepreneurs responding with their take.
The re-election campaign of incumbent President Barack Obama has released a new television ad called “Always” that will run in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada and that takes on what’s become a major GOP talking point. In the ad, Obama directly addresses his comments in Roanoke, and particularly the line “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”
The campaign has dedicated a page of its website to what it calls “misleading attack ads” from the Romeny campaign, including links to posts about the line from the Washington Post and FactCheck.org. (Our own take, posted a week ago, is here.)
The Romney campaign issued this statement on the ad:
“It’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.” – Curt Cashour, Virginia Communications Director, Romney for President
In addtion, Romney addressed the quote on CNBC’s Kudlow Report. Here’s an excerpt of his comments from the show’s transcript:
Gov. ROMNEY: Well, just read the whole speech. I found the speech even more disconcerting than just that particular line. The context is worse than the quote. 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. This is an ideology which says hey, we’re all the same here, we ought to take from all and give to one another and that achievement, individual initiative and risk-taking and success are not to be rewarded as they have in the past. It’s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy. We have always been a nation that has celebrated success of various kinds. The kid that gets the honor roll, the individual worker that gets a promotion, the person that gets a better job. And in fact, the person that builds a business. And by the way, if you have a business and you started it, you did build it. And you deserve credit for that. It was not built for you by government. And by the way, we pay for government. Government doesn’t come free. The people who begin enterprises, the people who work in enterprises, they’re the ones paying for government. So his whole philosophy is an upside-down philosophy that does not comport with the American experience. And if we want to get people working again–and that’s my priority–if we want to get people working again, we have to celebrate success and achievement and not demonize it and denigrate the people who have worked hard, who are smart, who have made the kinds of investments to build a brighter future.
Meanwhile, Republicans are holding a pair of “We Did Build This” events in Richmond and Roanoke tomorrow to talk about the line. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnnell will headline the Richmond event, while Virginia Victory Chairman Pete Snyder and Virginia Del. Chris Head, R-Botetourt County — both business owners — will host the event in Roanoke.
The Roanoke event takes place at Head’s Home Instead Senior Care business on Peters Creek Road at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
– Mason Adams