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“You Didn’t Build That. Somebody Else Made That Happen.”

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President Obama gave a speech on July 13, 2012 at Roanoke Fire Station #1. The speech contained these paragraphs:

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. (Applause.)

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. (Emphasis added.)

Voters have rejected this argument, and often loudly, since it was made. Mitt Romney has done so forcefully in person and through surrogates and in commercials. I am just back from vacation but have already loaded both the long and short versions into my radio console quote machine for ease of use in the course of the next 100 days. While I was in vacation abroad, the president’s blurting out of his contempt for hard work was really the only domestic political story to break though the international press’ focus on Syria and then the bombing attack on the Israeli’s in Bulgaria. It appears to be an uber-gaffe, with a growth cycle faster than those creatures in Prometheus.

The Chicago Gang knows this and is fighting back with a classic deployment of the sophisticated response paradigm best known as: “Its not my dog. It didn’t bite you. And besides you kicked him first.”Sadly for the Chicago sharpies, for the comprehensive push-back to work, it must pass the laugh test in each of its three phases and here it fails to cross each and every hurdle.


Try #1: “It’s not my dog,” or “The GOP is using the statement out of context.” Best example of the argument in in this letter to The Chicago Tribune. Best response, courtesy of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, is Mitt Romney in conversation with Larry Kudlow. The phrases most people have heard –“If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else built that.”– aren’t outliers in an otherwise good speech, meant only to refer to roads not private businesses. They are key lines deeply embedded as a bad part of a bad speech. Go to the Powerline link and listen to Romney scissoring the speech.

#2 –“It didn’t bite you!”– fails as well, as seen in the spontaneous reaction of small businessmen and hard-working self-employed all across the country as well as the millions of Americans who have worked sometimes two or three or more jobs to get ahead in the world, who have save and scrapped and built. The president says he wasn’t insulting them, but too often he has insulted them in the past to get a pas again. Expect to see “I built this Mr. President” signs from here to November 6, because not only the Roanoke slap a stinger, so too have been the serial slaps that preceded it.

I lay out the president’s long record of slaps in the face of hard-working people in a couple of places in The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall, and Epic Fail of the Hope and Change Presidency, but here are three special examples of presidential right-hooks to the jaws of Americans, all given in the space of 45 days:

“This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have the same competitive edge that we needed.”

–President Obama, September 30, 2011, to WESH TV’s Jim Payne, Orlando, FLA
“We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.”

–President Obama, at a fund raiser in San Francisco, October 25, 2011
“We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades.”

–President Obama, at an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation (APEC) summit in Hawaii, November 12, 2011
This is the real context for the Roanoke speech, these and, of course, President Obama’s infamous “The private sector is doing fine.”And of course #3 defense: “Besides you kicked him first.” This dodge tries to hide the president’s kick in the gut of all American job creators by whimpering that Mitt Romney once gave a speech telling Olympic athletes that they didn’t get to the Salt Lake Games on their own, but that parents, coaches, teachers and communities had helped them along the way.

There’s even a fourth defense being thrown in as a bit of back-up support: Mitt Romney’s commercial used a self-made family business as an example of hard work done but eh owners and the workers. Team Obama has found three or four instances over the course of a that Gilchrest Metal Manufacturing of Hudson, New Hamshire has either received a federal loan or a contract with a defense contractor. Lefties at The Washington Post Lefty Blogging Circle and Lemonade Stand have informed their dozens of readers that this is a huge deal. Surprisingly, Greg Sergeant did not discuss how long Gilchrist had been in business, how much or what they produce, and the nature of the federal owns and/or contracts, and not surprisingly, anyone with a week in the real world of manufacturing would recognize those as the key factors to making any kind of case of disqualifying Mr. Gilchrist from his role as critic of the president’s assault on the success of Gilchrist. This is another loser assault by a losing campaign against a productive business and fine citizen. It isn’t the way to win independents and hard-working Democrats who don’t want to be turned into products of the government even Suite.aspx

if they have traditionally voted for the Democratic candidate –even if they voted in 2008. Nothing like denigrating your friends’ achievements to loose a friend

This beautifully inane argument was instantly put forward by Obama defenders who didn’t realize that not only did the angry tone of the president’s Roanoke ripping of small businessmen and job creators contrast with Romney’s encouragement of athletes to acknowledge their debt to others, but that Obama was aiming to introduce envy and anger into the crowd that felt it was disposed, not pride and humility onto the U.S. Olympic team that knew it had succeeded. It may be hard for Maddow Blog’s Steve Bennen to understand the difference between attacking an object of pride –business success– for the purpose of building up hate and envy v. encouraging genuine humility and gratefulness among individual athletes for the purpose of building stronger character, but most voters get it. Instantly. Desperate. Desperate. Desperate.


Obama was sowing seeds of discord and disunity; Romney exactly the opposite. The left is so blinded by their loyalty to the president or their hatred of the right and Romney that they are making high school level debate errors, launching arguments field-tested on seventh graders.


The shudder that passed through Team Obama after their candidate’s latest pratfall tells us much. They can’t trust the president away from the prompter. He is reverting to Chicago-style Alinksyite cloche just as the whole country wakes up to the awful consequences of his economic policies. The president is sound shriller and shriller by the day. Romney is remaining calm, going abroad, building his case and is war chest. Far closer in the polls than he should be. Confident. Deliberate.


President Obama is getting worse on the trail, not connecting with voters, not talking to reporters, not able to carry off even set-speech speeches without catastrophes. Romney is batting away the “gnat of the day” brought by MSM and off on a key trip which will be followed by Veep-week and Convention-walk-up week and Convention week itself. Nice. And the dough rolls in because America wants a change. (Give even your $5 or $50 or $500 via the Act Right Button in the right margin.) The polls show a weak-and-getting-weaker Obama, and after two months of throwing the kitchen sink at Romney, Obama is three points down in Rasmussen tracking, and the other nukjbers put an incumbent president well below 50% even as he launches missile and grenade against the people who pay the taxes he wants to raise dramatically. That Axelrod is a genius,


Go get The Brief Against Obama. Get the whole picture. This insane re-elect strategy by the president is the only one open to a a fully failed first-termer. Wonderful responses from readers who had forgotten much of the last 40 months are piling up and I am glad the book has hit is mark –a compendium of everything President Obama promised and predicted and the detailed, footnoted record of his epic fail. Sometimes there are great advantages to being a lawyer and keep detailed notes. Esepcially when the subject of your scrutiny continues to provide new fodder, like “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”


The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency

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