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‘Small Business’ Lobby Starts Astroturfing Bus Tour To Protest Out Of Context Obama Remark

By Travis Waldron  

"‘Small Business’ Lobby Starts Astroturfing Bus Tour To Protest Out Of Context Obama Remark"

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NFIB tour stop in Indianapolis, IN

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Federation of Independent Businesses — an organization that presents itself as “The Voice of Small Business,” but actually favors corporate interests in its lobbying efforts — kicked off a nationwide bus tour this week to protest President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comments.

The “I Built My Business Tour” began Monday in Wisconsin and has included stops in Illinois and Indiana. It will continue through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia before ending in Florida two days before the election.

At a tour stop in Indianapolis Wednesday, NFIB members and Indiana state lawmakers talked about the importance of small businesses to the economy, with several mentioning that they were “appalled” or “shocked” by Obama’s well-worn “You didn’t build that” comments, made at a campaign event in July. Obama’s comments have been used by the Republican National Committee and other organizations, even though the full context, in which Obama cites the role of government in helping foster business growth, is rarely provided.

The NFIB has played an extensive role in opposing Obama’s policies: it led one lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, the health care law it says is causing more “uncertainty,” and it opposes his plan to raise taxes on incomes over $250,000 (even though, as Mother Jones noted, only 3 percent of small business owners fit that bill).

NFIBExposed.org, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, found that 98 percent of the NFIB’s campaign contributions in the 2012 cycle have gone to support Republican candidates, while 100 percent of its advertising budget has been spent either supporting Republicans or opposing Democrats.

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