July 19, 2012

AP’s Peoples Tells Readers What Obama ‘Intended’ in ‘You Didn’t Build That, Somebody Else Made That Happen’ Remark

On July 13, President Barack Obama told a campaign audience in Roanoke that “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” As Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters pointed out on Wednesday, it wasn’t until July 17 that any of the Big Three broadcast TV news networks recognized the existence of the remark — and two of them failed to run the actual quote.

Part of the reason is that the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, which seems to be serving as the establishment press’s signal caller and official Obama administration water carrier, has given the remark little heed — so little that, as is so often the case with controversial remarks made by leftists or Democrats, Obama opponent Mitt Romney had to force it into the news by incorporating it into his stump speech. At that point, as seen in Steve Peoples’ Tuesday writeup carried at AZcentral.com (HT to an NB tipster; the story is already gone at the AP’s national site), the wire service went into “mean Republicans attack” and “what he really meant” modes (bolds are mine):

Romney: Obama wants U.S. to be ‘ashamed’ of success

Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of wanting “Americans to be ashamed of success.”

… Romney criticized Obama for remarks he made while campaigning in Virginia last week. The president, making a point about the supportive role government plays in building the nation, said: “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.”

Obama later added: “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Obama’s intended point — one he made again in Texas on Tuesday — was that government plays a role in helping people and businesses succeed by building roads, hiring teachers and firefighters, and looking out for the public good. A consistent part of Obama’s economic message is that individual initiative and hard work should be rewarded.

… Romney is trying shift attention away from his business record and his tax returns.

Geez, Steve, what part of “you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” didn’t you understand?

Note well that Peoples didn’t write: “Obama said that his intended point was …” He asserted as an indisputable, established fact what Obama’s “intended point” was. You don’t know that, pal — no matter how many other Obama speeches you quote.

Not “somebody else created the infrastructure (with your taxes) which made pursuing your dreams more possible.” Not “somebody else educated your employees (with your taxes) which made leveraging your talents possible.” And even if the President was right — and of course, he’s not — the “progressive” tax system which already takes a disproportionate percentage of income from high earners squares the deal.

In Obama’s warped world, you didn’t close the sale; “somebody else” did. You didn’t screen, vet, hire, and motivate employes; “somebody else” did. You didn’t organize and manage your work flow, vendor, and customer relationships; “somebody else” did. On a more personal level, you didn’t orchestrate the complex elements (including government red tape) of building of your new home; “somebody else” did.

No amount of “context” can paper over the fact that in Obama’s world successful people don’t have a right to claim credit for their success. The government and the collective deserve all of it, and how dare you think otherwise? There’s no room for, or even acknowledgment of, “individual initiative” in the president’s “you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” remark.

The fact that the establish press sat on the remark and only covered it when Romney forced it into the discussion shows how toxic — perhaps even more toxic than the his “the private sector is doing fine” howler several weeks ago — it really is.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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