Barack Obama’s admonition that “you didn’t build that” to small business owners has infuriated millions of Americans, and the government-centric tirade has drawn the ire of a number of small businessmen.
An Iowa deli’s co-owner made his opinion very clear while serving the campaign lunch in a pro-Romney shirt:
Ross Murty likes business, but he doesn’t like President Obama.
And so the co-owner of the Village Corner Deli here agreed to cater Obama’s visit Wednesday — but not before donning a T-shirt blaring the message: “Government didn’t build my business. I did.”
It was a reference to a remark Obama made several weeks ago that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has seized upon to portray Obama as anti-business. Obama, referring to the help government provides to businesses by building roads and providing education and other services, said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”
“No one from the government was there when we were sweating it, when we were building this business,” Murty said. Before him was a bank of chafing dishes filled with smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, vegetable parmesan bake and cheesy hash brown casserole provided to the White House press corps covering the president’s three-day swing across Iowa this week.
Likewise, a mom-and-pop bakery turned away Vice President Joe Biden’s entourage:
Chris McMurray’s bakery has been open only since May, barely three months.
Wednesday morning, advance teams for Vice President Joe Biden walked in.
“I approached her she said Joe Biden is coming to town today,” McMurray said.
“Crumb and Get It” is a mom and pop store. Literally. Chris and his wife Kelly run the place and need all the business they can get.
McMurray said the Vice President’s entourage got to the point and made its pitch.
“She said they have selected ‘Crumb and Get It” to be his stop on his way to Blacksburg and was wondering if that was ok.”
Here’s the part that might make other business owners crazy.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime but essentially I said ‘No offense to you or the campaign but I just decline you guys coming in here. At that time she said ‘Are you sure? There’s going to be a lot of press, a lot of activity,’” McMurray said.
Why in the world would a new business owner say “no” to a photo op with the Vice President of the United States?
McMurray said it was President Obama’s recent remarks about small business and who built what.
“Very simply, ‘you didn’t build that’” McMurray said. “Speaking of small businesses and entrepreneurs all across this country and actually last night my wife was up all night. No sleep, she’s worked a full 24 hours.”
Businesses can and do decline to work with political campaigns for any number of reasons on a fairly regular basis, but the arrogant “you didn’t build that” remark from President Obama, betraying his belief in the centrality of the government in people’s lives and minimizing the sacrifices and hard work of entrepreneurs, has struck a deep nerve nationwide. The government does not build businesses, and the simple fact of the matter is that lobbying for extensive government regulation is a tool large corporations favor to pose a high barrier to entry to small businesses into many markets.
Government creates roadblocks, not opportunities. Obama, fundamentally, cannot understand that. Votes know it instinctively, and will express their disgust with the failed President November 6.