Smarting from the attack on his “you didn’t build that”speech the Obama team is inexplicably running a whiny, defensive ad saying, “Those ads taking my words about small business out of context, they’re flat out wrong.” Wow. This is his version of the “I am not a witch” ad.
Moreover, the ad is just asking for the Romney team to throw another punch. How long before the Romney team runs an ad that quotes the entire passage from Obama’s speech? Here it is:
“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were 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.”
As a few honest Democrats have acknowledged, the full context is as bad, or worse, than the “you didn’t build that” part. (By the way if “roads and bridges” were what business didn’t build it would be “those” not “that.” And if “that” refers to the “the American system” then Obama thinks government, not the private sector, built the American system.)
Obama’s out of context excuse has been bandied around for days by the left-wing media. Did the left-wing blogosphere come up with the excuse or did the White House suggest it? There is such a close relationship between the Obama team’s specific arguments and what their blogospheric fans come up with it’s hard to tell who prompted whom. It might be hard for them to keep it straight as well.( “Hmm, was this Axelrod’s spin or TPM’s?”)
In this case, the echo chamber has outsmarted itself. Whether or not the ”that” refers to bridges and roads (as in, “Well, you think you’re so great but government made things possible with all that infrastructure not you, pal”) or to the businesses themselves (relating back to his comment that “look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own”) hardly matters. It is all one big rag on individual accomplishment and an attempt to elevate government over the private sector.
It is also bizarrely anti-meritocratic. Lots of smart people, lots of hard workers, so you’re not so swell, Mr. Businessman. Why would Obama even go there?
Apparently, Obama’s standing on the economy has so fallen so low that the argument for his reelection is now reduced to “I don’t hate business. Honest.”
So is he keeping taxes low on small business people covered under the individual rate? Well, no. He’s raising them. Is he going to hold off on Obamacare which has frozen hiring for many smaller firms? Nope. Did he side with the little guys who were run over by the EPA and denied their day in court? No the Supreme Court had to slap Obama down in a unanimous ruling to protect property rights.
Maybe Obama loves small business, but so far it has been an abusive relationship.