Believing in the America They Built

RNC Communications - July 31, 2012

Across the country this week Americans continue to respond to President Obama undermining the hard work that went into building their business. Read some of the news coverage of their stories below.


 Obama's comment draws local GOP ire, Colorado Springs Gazette

“We take offense to the idea that government builds business,” said David Leinweber the owner of Angler’s Covey, a sport-fishing shop. 

“There is just so much bureaucracy in government, it doesn’t help me.” 


 Romney campaign brings out more “I built this” business owners,  Orlando Sentinel

“I’m not taking them out of context. We [all taxpayers including small businesses] did build the  bridges and the roads,” Burns said

[Tanya L. Burns, owner of the Burns & Associates insurance agency]

 But the point that really offended them was the idea…that Obama’s comments sounded dismissive of the risk and hard work of small business owners.

“He wasn’t there my sleepless nights,” Cortes said.

[Bob Cortes, owner of Cortes Towing Services] 


 VP hopeful stumps for Romney Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era 

"Now, that didn't make a whole lot of sense to the people I was just talking to. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. When the president said that — 'You didn't build that business. Somebody else did.' — I thought about all the small business owners I know in my hometown of Cincinnati, across Ohio. I thought about my dad," said Portman, whose father left a job to start his own firm.

" … This is what's happening all over America to create opportunity, and yet the president is telling those people, 'You didn't do it'?" Portman said. "We should be doing just the opposite in government. We should be holding those people up. We should be telling them that they are the backbone of our economy and that we respect them."

Senator Rob Portman Rallies Romney Supporters in Lancaster County, PA

WGAL-HAR (NBC) Harrisburg, PA

“We have a president and a Democrat majority in the United States Senate that really don’t get it. They think that the private sector is part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

“I’m a product of small business. I grew up in a family that had a small business. I’m still a small business owner. I believe that’s the backbone of our economy”

-Senator Rob Portman


Local businessmen: Our success was not aided by government The Daily Nonpareil

“This business was built by hard work and personal sacrifice of family and staff,” said Garry Struyk, co-owner of Struyk Turf Co., a family business since 1970.

“Struyk Turf has not received any assistance from either federal or state government,” Struyk said. “Our family took the risk and built Struyk Turf, not the government.”

“Success of a business is driven more by the entrepreneur spirit,” Overholtzer added.

[David Overholtzer, owner of CPA business]



Saginaw, Bay county business owners participate in Romney campaign event criticizing Obama's 'You didn't build that' statement MLive

"But what bothers me is when President Obama said I didn't build that, it's like, 'Who the heck did?' That statement irked me more than any statement I've probably heard any president say in 20 years."

[Jim Brunette, owner of Bay Archery]

"I put the hard work into it, I put my money into it and ... mentally, I'm here working 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

[Tom Roy, owner of Bulldog Pizza]


Tim Pawlenty Rallies Romney Supporters in Dayton, OH

WSYX-CBO (ABC) Columbus, OH

 "I think it’s resonating because it was jarring to the American people, and particularly America’s small business owners to have the president say you didn’t build it then he went on to say somebody else did.”

-Governor Tim Pawlenty 


GOP, small businesses rally against Obama's 'didn't build that' comment Southeast Missourian

"We are the individuals who did the work," said Lorberg…"When I heard he said that, it was really a slap in the face."

John Lorberg has worked his 900-acre farm in Gordonville for 50 years, just as his father and grandfather did for 50 years before him. And when the 75-year-old retires at the end of the year, he plans to turn the operation over to his son and grandson.

"I see government as an opponent rather than a partner," Anderson said. "I'd really just rather have government leave us alone and allow us to be good stewards of our own resources."

[Mark Anderson, owner of Confluent Technology Group]

KRCG 13 Missouri Reacts to ‘you didn’t build that’

“Busch’s is the oldest retail business in Jefferson City. We’ve been at the same place for almost 125 years and I’m wondering exactly who built Busch’s Florist if it wasn’t Hugo Busch and his five sons.”

-John Pelzer

New Mexico

Cabinet secretary, businessman rap Obama El Paso Times

“It makes me very angry,” said Wayne Sonchar, whose family operates two businesses that are headquartered in Raton. “I never expected to hear it come out of a president of the United States.”

[Wayne Sonchar, owner of B.T.U. Block & Concrete and B.T.U. Building Materials]

New Hampshire

Another View: At last, government gets the credit for building my businessManchester Union Leader

I wish I had known that the 15 years I spent dedicating much of my life to the creation and direction of the business that I co-founded did not really have a major impact on its success. I could have spent more time with my family and had far fewer sleepless nights had I known that my vision, dedication and commitment was not really a driving factor in our ability to be successful in a global environment. 

[Len Chaloux is president and co-founder of Moore Nanotechnology Systems, LLC, in Swanzey]


Utah senator to campaign in Appleton for Romney Appleton Post Crescent

"Some fear that it's reflective of a mindset that the government is a source of prosperity and we know that not to be true."

-Senator Mike Lee 

Mitt Romney supporters stop in Sheboygan

A customer is not providing a subsidy

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Rick Esenberg

“The reason that the remarks have drawn fire is that - even when taken in context and given a forgiving reading - they do three things. First, they express disdain for success in business, mocking those who believe that their success came from working hard or being smart. Second, they misunderstand the role that public goods play in individual success. We all go to school and use roads. We don't all build thriving businesses. Finally, they suggest that someone who builds a successful business got something that he or she didn't ‘pay for’ and, therefore, owes the state something - something even more than his or her share of the costs of roads, schools and other public goods. In other words, the claim of the state is open ended and limited only be the sufferance of the majority.”

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