President Obama’s statement that entrepreneurs didn’t build the United States is coming back to bit President Obama’s backside in much the same fashion that John Kerry’s “global test” statement haunted him.
During the first presidential debate of 2004, John Kerry was perceived as the winner of that debate. His only flaw, the media thought, was his statement that US foreign policy had to meet a “global test.”
First, during the debate, President Bush jumped all over the statement. Afterwards, Karl Rove made certain to beat Sen. Kerry over the head with that phrase. That beating didn’t stop until the first exit polls started showing up.
What apparently happened last week in Roanoke, VA, was President Obama got complacent. Then he started ad-libbing. Pretty soon, he’d committed a gaffe, which is defined by Michael Kinsley as unintentially saying what you really meant.
President Obama’s statement seemed to re-invigorate Mitt Romney. This week, Mr. Romney has been on the attack, criticizing President Obama’s economic philosophy. That’s before considering the gift President Obama gave Gov. Romney in the form of changing the subject from Mitt’s time at Bain to President Obama’s economic philosophy and record.
This post on Mitt Romney’s blog cuts straight to the point of Gov. Romney’s argument:
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. But President Obama’s comments last week show that he just doesn’t understand who the real job creators are. How can he help small businesses when he doesn’t even recognize their value?
It isn’t news to say that Democrats have alway favored bigger government. It didn’t become news until President Obama started arguing that government is the nerve center that propels the economy:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t, look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
President Obama’s perspective didn’t take into account some of the biggest breakthroughs in US history. Henry Ford built the assembly line because he alone had a brilliant idea for making automobiles. Others had the same schooling that Henry Ford had. Henry Ford alone is credited with inventing the assembly line.
There’s no question that competition played a far bigger role in world-changing innovations than any other single factor. The man that built Papa John’s Pizza finished near last in his graduating class. That didn’t prevent him from working hard on a simple product and turning it into a hugely successful major employer.
If the economic news doesn’t turn around soon, President Obama will become a one-term president.