The Romney campaign and conservative bloggers have been feasting on a selectively-edited quote from President Obama to argue that he believes that the government, not business owners, are responsible for the success of their enterprises. Though Obama’s comment — “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else did that” — accurately observed that businesses large and small rely on public infrastructure funded by taxpayer dollars, Republicans have used the statement to reinforce their ‘Obama hates businesses’ narrative.
But during a campaign appearance in Ohio on Wednesday, Mitt Romney misquoted Obama, before agreeing that tax payer-funded programs help all American businesses succeed:
ROMNEY: I know that you recognize a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the bank, the investors. There is no question your mom and dad, your school teachers. The people who provide roads, the fire, the police. A lot of people help. But let me ask you this. Did you build your business? If you did, raise your hand. Take that Mr. President! This is what’s happening in this country. These people are entrepreneurs.
Romney has proposed deep reductions in government spending and has even said that the nation must “cut back” on firemen, policemen and teachers.