Weekend Messaging Memo -- Have Some Context

Sean Spicer - July 27, 2012


FROM: RNC Communications Director |@seanspicer
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Weekend Messaging Memo -- Have Some Context

“You didn’t build that” was no gaffe. It was a revelation, a glimpse at how President Obama truly views the economy.

The remarks are troubling because they are honest. They are powerful not because they are taken out of context--as desperate Democrats whine--but because they are in context. President Obama was being candid, and as his words continue to echo across the country, voters are mobilizing in protest.

On Wednesday, Republicans held 24 events with small business owners and entrepreneurs who had a simple message for the president: “We DID build this!” And any business owner or operator can have their say at

If you sense panic in Chicago, you’re right. Team Obama has realized that the most damaging blow to their campaign may have come from President Obama himself.

Vice President Biden must be enjoying this.

Recognizing the impact his words had on business owners, authors, farmers, and anyone who has built or created something, President Obama recorded an ad to attempt a rewrite of his speech. The DNC Communications Director released an emergency memo that read like a midsummer night’s fever dream rant. He promised an “all-out response” to Republicans’ continued use of the president’s exact words.

What was that response? The DNC attacked the very small business owners who stood up to answer the president’s initial attacks on small business owners. They added insult to injury.

Democrats have found themselves tongue-tied because no amount of clarification or contextualization can make “You didn’t build that” any less insulting. Instead of attacking the president, we produced an ad that was simply one minute of the president’s own words. You can’t get more context than that.

With 23 million Americans struggling for work, now is the time to encourage and applaud risk-taking entrepreneurs. President Obama is doing the opposite. He’s denigrating them, tearing them down, robbing them of any sense of accomplishment and attributing all their success to the benevolent hand of big government.

Because government built it, government can take it away, he insists. And he’s certainly putting our money where his mouth (and therefore his foot) is: He wants to raise taxes on small businesses and job creators.

Moreover, in his ode to government, the president fails to mention the toll that government takes on small business and entrepreneurism. Massive regulations, the ObamaCare tax, endless red tape, and reckless spending are impeding growth. They are handcuffing a generation of American innovators from building something new--or in the view of President Obama, letting government build it for them.

President Obama wants to give government all the credit for success, but he absolves it from any responsibility for failure. He just does not see the truth. (Remember, he also said, “The private sector is doing fine.”)

If the president continues to speak his mind, Americans will most certainly make up their minds that he is the wrong man for the job.

We need a president who understands how the economy works--and who encourages those who make it thrive. Mitt Romney will be that president. He knows that government didn’t “build that.” He knows hardworking Americans “made that happen.” After all, he’s spent his career making businesses happen.

One final note: President Obama cannot claim the economy is his number one priority or that he spends all his time fighting for jobs, when he has not received a presidential economic briefing since April of 2011 or met with his Jobs Council in over six months.

What has he done since his last Jobs Council meeting? As of tonight, he will have attended 119 fundraisers and played 10 rounds of golf.


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