Obama’s taken a lot of drubbing from Romney and the Right about his “you didn’t build that” comment. But taken in context, what he said and what he’s been accused of saying are two different things.
Obama rebutted Romney’s latest campaign ad in a speech today:
I believe with all my heart that it is the drive and the ingenuity of Americans who start businesses that lead to their success. I always have and I always will. (Applause.) The ability for somebody who’s willing to work hard, put in their sweat and their sacrifice to turn their idea into a profitable business, that’s the nature of America. That’s what helped make our economy the envy of the world.
I’ve always said don’t bet against American workers, don’t bet against American ingenuity. And I believe that the free market is the greatest source of prosperity in our history. But I also believe that if you talk to any business owner, they’ll tell you that what also helps them succeed alongside all their hard work, all their great ideas, is the ability to hire workers with the right skills and education. (Applause.) What helps them succeed is the ability to ship and sell their products on new roads and bridges and ports and wireless networks. (Applause.) What helps them succeed is having access to cutting-edge technology, which, like the Internet, often starts with publicly funded research and development. (Applause.) And what helps them succeed is a strong and growing middle class who can buy the products that they’re selling. Every business needs customers. (Applause.)
I’m curious to see a thoughtful response to that sentiment – that American success is built on shared investment in education, infrastructure, and opportunity.
Anyone here care to offer their thoughts?