Image 01 Image 03

Comeback to “you didn’t build that” – Romney praised athletes’ families, coaches and sports teams

Comeback to “you didn’t build that” – Romney praised athletes’ families, coaches and sports teams

Obama’s “you didn’t build that” line as part of a broader speech about how successful individuals owe that success to government has dug deep into the psyche of Obama supporters.

MSNBC dug up an old video of Mitt Romney speaking at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics (for comparison, take a look at what Obama was doing back then) in which Romney told the athletes to remember that they received help from family, coaches, and community sports groups:

“Tonight we cheer the Olympians, who only yesterday were children themselves,” Romney said. “As we watch them over the next 16 days, we affirm that our aspirations, and those of our children and grandchildren, can become reality. We salute you Olympians – both because you dreamed and because you paid the price to make your dreams real. You guys pushed yourself, drove yourself, sacrificed, trained and competed time and again at winning and losing.”

“You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Because Romney used the magic words “you didn’t get here on your own” this is the equivalent, the left blogsphere claims, of Obama saying that successful individuals must pay more in taxes than they already do because government helped them succeed.

As Tom Maguire points out, Obama’s comments would not have been controversial if all he said was that government plays an important role in helping provide infrastructure for the economy.  But Obama, and Elizabeth Warren before him, used the context as an argument for higher taxation for successful individuals out of indebtedness to government for success.

More important, this illustrates the divide between left and right in how government is viewed.  This quote in the MSNBC article had it right:

A Republican strategist sends over this response: “The Obama Campaign is comparing the government to a loving parent? What happened to Julia?”


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. … If You’ve Got a Business — You Didn’t Build That. Somebody Else Made That Happen.” – Barack Hussein Obama, The WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY, 16 July 2012.

In contrast to America’s Failed Socialist Extremist President, recall the corresponding words of The GREATEST PRESIDENT OF MODERN AMERICA, Ronald Reagan, who said on 22 JUN 1963:

“Small business is the gateway to opportunity for those who want a piece of the American Dream… The character and conscience of small business built this nation. You know, in his book Wealth and Poverty, George Gilder wrote something about entrepreneurs that I’ve long believed. He said that most contribute far more to society than they ever recover. And most of them win no riches at all. They are the heroes of economic life…”

Midwest Rhino | July 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Yeah, I missed the part where Romney takes the gold medal and redistributes it to all the losers.

As Obama said, “I’m always struck by those that finish first. They think, I must have trained harder, and used smarter techniques. I gotta tell ya’, there are a lot of smart and hard working athletes that deserve that medal just as much as you. You don’t deserve that”

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | July 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    the obvious adjoiner to that is … so no one bothers competing, there is no prize, no reward, no self willed victory.

    Winning is only doing what is expected of you, given that you obviously had more done for you than others, or you cheated. Those that never tried, and went out partying instead of training … they deserve the same as the one that unfairly finished first.

      Browndog in reply to Midwest Rhino. | July 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm


      “Hey, when someone wins, everyone else loses. I want everyone to succeed. All my opponent wants is to create class after class of new losers.

      Send me $3 to win a chance for one of you losers to shake my hand, and tell me what a winner I am.”

      (Do I really need a sarc tag?)

No one has ever denied, and indeed conservatives have celebrated that fact, that the support of family, friends and the fabric of community are all part of success and the American dream. That is, a unity of forces and faiths bound to the ideal of betterment which enables individuals and for which they are (as American tradition has shown) grateful. This is what Romney was talking about. But Obama was on an enirely different and ugly track: he was denigrating the individual and the idea of the self-motivated, striving and non-subordinated individual (as all Leftists do and must to maintain their collectivist ideology). His speech was almost a sneer at individuality and the notion that “Government” and the collective wasn’t preeminent in all human endeavor.

Romney should fire back and keep pressing these distinctions. I think it is wiser to concede the value of community in this neighborly, charitable and voluntary conservative sense than to keep talking about billionaire entrepreneurs as the object of slander. Romney could run with this, or start a colloquy on Socialism vs. Capitalism and the concepts of slavery and liberty which informs and underwrites both, respectively.

But he won’t, I bet.

    Jay Jones in reply to raven. | July 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Romney needs to address this in a way that brings clarity to one of the biggest misunderstandings our country tends to hold to: Confusing society and government.

    Hell, if he could quote “Common Sense” while doing it, I might pass out from joyful shock.

FenelonSpoke | July 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Raven, Please consider sending your post to the “Contact us” section at the Romney campaign. You have some great thoughts here .

What happened to Julia?

“Under programs instituted by our benevolent Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm), at 21, Julia represented her collective in the Equality Games and came home with a gold medal in community organizing and a silver medal in progressive donation solicitation.”

Compare and contrast…

Pres. Paracosm: You owe your success to government. You didn’t build that yourself. You should be HAPPY to pay even more in taxes!

Gov. Romney: You trained and pushed and practiced. And you achieved. You were backed in your efforts by the support of your family, your coaches, and others who voluntarily supported you. (Well, except for you guys from Communist states, some of whom were taken from their families for the glorification of the State…)

But the Obamic statement is part of a piece with old, old Collectivist theory. He didn’t talk about “parasites” because that would be TOO strong, TOO direct. But that is what he meant.

The same urge that coined the expression, “Winners in the lottery of life”…spoken by ACTUAL parasites.

    so did the “evil” Romney pass an “Olympian Tax” for the royalties received by Olympic stars ?

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Nope, he sure didn’t.

    He also didn’t do the Midwest Rhino thing where he “normalized” the winners and losers, and give everyone a “tin” medal for trying really, really hard and showing up.

    We all get that our reality rewards successful competitors (or we live in delusion). We ALSO all get that compassionately helping others is a value we support.

theduchessofkitty | July 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

“The Obama Campaign is comparing the government to a loving parent?”

Nope. More like Government as “Sugar Daddy”.

TrooperJohnSmith | July 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

It looks to me like it’s time to go into the Obama Archives, for things like tax cuts, Islam, Rev. Wright, etc.

“Wanna mince words? I got a Turbo Word Mincer, right here!” We’ll show you ‘inconsistent’!

Didya notice? Romney never said government. He cited only individual persons who meaningfully assisted in the lives of these athletes. The One on the other hand wants us to believe that government gave all of what we have to us.

Really? The government was form by individuals, that is active people, who instituted government solely to secure their rights. This phrase – “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed” – is of course familiar to those possessing common sense and love of our founding principle of LIMITED government. It is unfamiliar to, or more accurately utterly ignored and rejected by, the socialists among us who time after time demand that we, the governed, bow down and worship at Big Government’s altar. (E.g., why do government officials get immunity when they commit torts against the people?)

Government which has nothing, absolutely nothing, except that which it demands and takes from us. And then shows us the back of the hand when we complain that it’s taking too much, doing what it’s not authorized to do (e.g., healthcare), but failing to do that with which it is charged (e.g., secure the borders). And then demonizes us for protesting. The Tea Party is the scapegoat for everything. Remember those DHS reports telling the world that we are the real threat, not Muslims.

The phrase “If I have seen farther it is only because I have stood on the shoulders of giants” is often attributed to Isaac Newton (though the expressed sentiment had been found in earlier writings). Newton knew, like all of us know, that no one does it on his/her own; that we need help from other individuals. And that’s the key distinction, from other individuals, not from the collective.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to pfg. | July 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Good point … Newton was humble in “victory” of his scientific findings. But he did build (something greater) upon them … he did not steal from them.

    Those that failed to comprehend what others had built, were not able to build higher. Their theories failed. Newton progressed.

    But today those that leach off of others still call themselves “progressive”. But what they mean is that those that progress ahead, must drag their sorry ass along with them.

alan markus | July 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm

So, bottom line, are they saying that Obama & Warren basically lifted Romney’s statements as their own? That they don’t have original thoughts of their own? Go with the “real deal”, not the “wannabes”!

There’s a big difference between recognizing one’s supporting cast, and demanding one pay more to a ‘supporting cast’ that often works against you.

Prof., not to pick, but “built” should be ‘build”.

Marilyn Monroe had a great built, in Brooklynese.

There’s a huge difference between “You didn’t build that” and “Let’s not forget the people who helped you build that”.

Brass tacks.

Everything “benevolent” comes from government…sayeth That One, especially HIS government.

Yes, he knows better, but it’s the same meme every tin horn dictator and wanna be pushed on the weak and gullible since forever-

And, every time, without fail, they say “yea, it failed before, but THIS TIME we have marxist commie wanna be dictator that’s really, really smart, and knows how to do it right.

2nd Ammendment Mother | July 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Do they really want to go there? Because youth sports are the heart of small town America…. and guess where the funds come from for those Little League Teams, for uniforms, balls, bats, bleachers and maintenance of sports fields in Small Town USA. It’s almost 100% volunteer driven and funded by the players parents and local small business owners.

When a kid starts showing promise of making it to the Olympics, it’s up to parents to get them to the best coaches and tournaments to develop and showcase those skills. It’s not cheap and not payed for by the government. Most of the money comes from the savings of parents, family and friends and the occasional donation from …. a business owner… and from bosses who work out schedules that allow them to train and earn a living at the same time.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to 2nd Ammendment Mother. | July 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    By contrast, in the Soviet Union a kid with athletic ability would be identified by “sports officials” and then taken to special schools, isolated from their families for a long time, trained to the gills and given to take or inject who knows what, and work them to death until they were guaranteed to bring home Olympic gold. Same for the ones with artistic or scientific promise.

    No contributions from the parents, other than the mere existence of the child. No volunteer support, since it was all provided by the state – and everything “voluntary” there was actually mandatory. No support from small businesses – there weren’t any, since all the kulaks were sent to Siberia or executed. The kid had to live and breath government if he ever wanted to make it to the nationals, let alone the Olympics.

    So no, I don’t think the Obama-bots want to go there. They will be touching a very nasty hornet’s nest, and they know it.

You didn’t raise your children alone …

You didn’t live your life in isolation …

You will “elect” to exchange liberty for submission with benefits.

In a free society athletes perfect their talents with the help from family, coaches and teams.
In the Soviet Union and Communist China it was a project of the state.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Right, and for those that fought the Soviet regime, seeking freedom, they didn’t get to the gulag on their own. Some other slave built that road that got them there, someone else forged those handcuffs. Some independent person’s wealth was confiscated to pay for that. heh

    Back to America ….
    There are roads built by successful Americans’ taxes (at double cost because of unions’ protected bidding), but most great American success is IN SPITE OF the government’s obstruction and overbearing government regulations.

    While our current overpaid teachers are debating “Why Johnny Can’t Read”, individuals find schools that still offer sciences where they can apply themselves, and excel to the point of building new and fabulous technology. They gave up a lot of parties and drugs in exchange for building their future on their own merits, instead of relying on the welfare state.

To paraphrase the strategist’s response:

Mr. President, you are not my father.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Voyager. | July 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

    To modify an old Cold War joke, here’s a pep talk between two Democrat parents and their child.

    – Who’s your father?
    – Barack Obama!
    – Who’s your mother?
    – The Great Democratic Party!
    – What do you want to be when you grow up?
    – An orphan!