Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, a surrogate for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and possible vice presidential contender, blasted President Obama Wednesday for his “you didn’t build that” remark in Roanoke last week.
The comment “reflects a president and an administration that’s just out of touch, out of ideas and, as far as I’m concerned, out of time to prove they can restore the American dream here in Virginia,’’ McDonnell said at a Richmond business adorned with a massive white-and-blue “We did build it!’’ sign.
McDonnell was joined by a pair of small business owners, including Melissa Ball of Ball Office Products who said she was insulted by the president’s comments.
“President Obama is wrong,’’ Ball said. “Americans do build their own business, and we need a president who believes that as well.’’
Ball, a frequent guest on Romney campaign conference calls, has received several small federal contracts, according to the Web site USAspending.gov.
Ball extended an invitation for Obama and his jobs council to visit her company. “I think it will be helpful for him to hear about the struggles of real life business owners,’’ she said.
In Roanoke this month, Obama spoke of the importance of government investments in infrastructure and public services in building businesses.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” Obama said. “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.”
Republicans have pounced on the remarks, while Democrats have argued they are taken out of context. (The Post’s Fact Checker and others have noted, the Obama quote was a reference to infrastructure, not to business.)
“I’m here to say we need a new president,’’ McDonnell said. “I thought those comments in Roanoke just show how misplaced the priorities are of this administration.”
When asked if the comments were taken out of context, McDonnell said he was judging on Obama’s record and his comments.
“It’s not out of context. It’s out of touch,’’ he said. “It’s not just the words. It’s the policies.”