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Reaction building to Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech

Reaction building to Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech

Reaction to Obama’s imitation of Elizabeth Warren is, um, building.

Bristol Palin is collecting stories at her blog from people around the country, some of which are in this video

The Romney campaign is out with t-shirts (h/t jimzinsocal):

There’s also a parody site, You didn’t build that (h/t PhillyGuy and hepcat).

Meanwhile, Obama called the controversy “bogus” claiming he only was talking about building roads and bridges. Clearly, Obama knows how damaging his speech was, particularly the line “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.

Sorry, Mr. President, the video doesn’t lie. You meant what you said, and you said what you meant.


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I’m really starting to have good feelings about good results in November.

I just hope that the silent majority in this nation can muster the courage to take back what they have created. Our future hinges on a return to fiscal and policy sanity…

    Observer in reply to GrumpyOne. | July 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

    This may be the turning point. People finally seem to be waking up to what these collectivists like Warren and Obama are all about.

    Remember that speech in which Warren said that the government “lets you keep a lot” of what you earn? And then there are the writings of Obama, Sr., as a government minister in Kenya, in which he says there is no reason why the government can’t take 100% of what one earns.

    Warren and Obama (Jr. and Sr.) believe government should control every aspect of our lives, and that they, as self-anointed “elites,” should control the government.

    Warren and Obama must be defeated.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Observer. | July 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

      “Collectivist”? Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade. The proper word is “Communist.”

        Observer in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        Yes. Too bad the MSM, when they were swooning over Obama’s Dreams from My Father in 2008, didn’t bother to inform the American public that the father about whom Barry was dreaming, as he planned his “fundamental transformation” of America, was a Kenyan communist.

        But I guess they were too busy branding as “racists” and “xenophobes” anyone who pointed out Obama’s Marxist ideology, his dues-paying membership in the socialist New Party in Chicago, or his communist associates like Van Jones.

        sablegsd in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

        “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”

        Which begs the question, why the drive to “fundamentally change” this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive?

        He is insane.
        And his sentence structure is lower elementary school level.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to GrumpyOne. | July 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

    During the last two to three weeks before the election, we should expect a relentless campaign of the ‘rats casting the race card against any who think about not voting for obama. The message will be simple: “Anyone who doesn’t vote for obama is a racist.” It will be hammered 24/7.

So happy you picked up Bristol’s excellent idea! The video just makes me cry. When you look at all of those faces and families and you realize these are the faces of America that Obama and the left see as the “enemy”, the greedy employers and capitalists! No, no, no not correct. These are the people that support their neighborhoods, look out for their employees and do it 24/7..not just when the media is looking Mr President. These are your “bitter clingers”? I could watch that video and all of the others on Bristols blog all day, and never tire of the spirit…the wonderful DNA that we all share…we’re all builders now!

    OcTEApi in reply to SunnyJ. | July 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Reminds me of when I was in this rural town in Michigan a couple years ago and met this lady in her mid-90’s, her husband, now deceased, had provided her with a nice home and secure future built upon his Farm Tractor Dealership.

    This woman was amazing and talked to her for some time.
    This is when I realized just how deep Michigan’s Libertarian roots go.
    She talked of how she used to run community book and social clubs… that how, when gov’t built a huge Library it destroyed those grassroots community bonds that steered youngsters values and morals.

    NOT that there’s anything wrong with libraries but NOW the gov’t routinely threatens to close those libraries if you don’t cough up more loot through higher taxes.
    To preserve something (a community bond) that was occurring naturally anyway -before they built it.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to OcTEApi. | July 21, 2012 at 3:58 am

      The people should just say, “Close it, and take your high taxes, fat pension funds and affirmative action and hit the road. We’ll run the damn library ourselves. We did it before it was built; we’ll do it again.”

People are attributing this communitarian, anti-individualistic view of business that Obama demonstrated to what Warren has also said. Both are simply echoing the views of Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein.

It is laid out in Sunstein’s 1999 book Free Markets and Social Justice. I am quite sure. I have had to track through to the origination of so many of these collectivist philosophies embedded in counterintuitive places in Obama education initiatives.

Is that what you would expect College and Career Ready to turn out to be?

This is a nefarious group using every instrument of power they can get their hands on to genuinely try to fundamentally transform America. Like the UN, education has become Obama’s secret weapon through values alteration and a social and emotional emphasis that seeks to push “we-ness” as a primary obligation that becomes reflexive at an instinctive level.

Obama took his mask off, and now the world can clearly see just who he is.

casualobserver | July 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

Even if I allow the Pres to rationalize his statement as limited to roads and bridges, it still exposes a very offensive viewpoint. How “grateful” are hard working people to be for being able to use roads? Didn’t we already pay our “fair share” as requested in taxes? It still just REEKS of mob mentality that once I have my tentacles in your success you will always owe me more……..whenever I request it.

Bristal Palin is still very young. She has been put thru the celebrity grinder unlike anyone her age. It is a testiment to her and her upbringing that she has kept her head on straight. If she continues this path she is developing into a formidable young woman.

The most amazing spin came from ABC News

They twist Romney’s campaign as being against roadbuilding etc

I guess that Obama doesen’t realize that the contractors who built the roads and bridges, and their employees, are not Federal workers. Someone should remind him that they are the employees of private sector contractors who risked their money to “build” their own businesses.

    Calypso Facto in reply to Marv. | July 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I’ve been thinking about that too. If you run a road construction company, you could say to the President, “Not only did I in fact build this business, I built the roads and bridges too!”

      In my state, a large proportion of the road building, expansion and re-paving funds come from the federal Department of Transportation – which is another example of federal government taking money from the citizens and allocating funds to the states with strings attached (HOV lanes required with the funding for lane additions). The Fed can pick the winners and the losers. Where do you think the “red states” vs the “blue states” place in the federal funding sweepstakes?

I R A Darth Aggie | July 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

We didn’t build this city.

I urge you to go to Bristol’s website and help her with this great idea. Tell your friends.

“Since the President doesn’t understand how our economy works, let’s take a moment to explain how small businesses are created… More importantly, let’s show him the businesses we’ve made and who has made them. Please send me your photos — either e-mail me (via BristolsBlog @, without the space!) or tweet me at this blog’s brand new Twitter account (@BristolsBlog) using the hashtag #IBuiltThis.

Be creative! The photo can be of you working or of your small business. Make it fun, by putting yourself in the photo holding up a sign that tells the President “I Built This!”

Don’t forget to tell me your name, location, and business website!!”

A Chicago small-business owner details the true relationship between the business his father built and government, which is my MUST READ of the day –,0,2313230.column

A quote:

If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that? Somebody else made that happen?

Somebody else, Mr. President? Who, exactly? Government?

One of my earliest memories as a boy at the store was that of the government men coming from City Hall. One was tall and beefy. The other was wiry. They wanted steaks.

We didn’t eat red steaks at home or yellow bananas. We took home the brown bananas and the brown steaks because we couldn’t sell them. But the government men liked the big, red steaks, the fat rib-eyes two to a shrink-wrapped package. You could put 20 or so in a shopping bag.

“Thanks, Greek,” they’d say.

That was government.

theduchessofkitty | July 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

Americans Build. Obama Destroys.

It’s that simple.

Kudo’s to Bristol Palin, Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter, who began this Narrative. A chip off the block.

Another non TOTUS moment where he shows his true colors. I think this is 12’s “Joe the Plumber moment” and it’s happened very early. Gonna be more so long as TOTUS isn’t around.

conservativegram | July 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

“If, as some claim, the ‘that’ in Obama’s ‘You didn’t build that’ refers to roads and bridges — then I’m confused… What entrepreneur claims to have built the road running past his business? Or the bridge? If that’s Obama’s point, it seems nonsensical…” tweeted by Byron York. I agree.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to conservativegram. | July 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    For the left ‘it was taken out of context’ is enough damage control for any situation, the sheeple will take it on faith and not question it. Hopefully the independant voters aren’t sheeple. Better yet, the Romney campaign should run a new ad with Obama complaining his statement was taken out of context, then run a longer clip and pose the question: does this look out of. Ontext to you? Expose the lie and let him double down.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 21, 2012 at 4:10 am


      But, sadly, the ‘pubs rarely accept a gift dropped at their feet. They usually miss it altogether or, like McCain, refuse to use it even though it’s doing America a service.

[…] just saw this video over at Legal Insurrection, and it gave me goosebumps.  My eyes welled up with pride for my fellow Americans who built this […]

Obama thinks he’s the president of Kenya.

It is our Judeo-Christian heritage, our democratic republic designed to function under the rule of law, our free market capitalism and the free will and determination of its people that has made America great. This America has caused Americans to fluorish while peoples of other nations flounder.

And, God has greatly blessed this country. The thankful understand this.

No wonder so many people want to come here. And they come here for the opposite reason that Obama offers – freedom with opportunity to succeed and perhaps even fail in trying. They will try again without Obama.

In his mind Obama is still in Kenya.

dorsaighost | July 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

the thing is that those successful business people did pay the taxes and fees and gas taxes that paid for the roads and bridges … so they in fact DID pay for the infrastructure they are using …

So that’s what gave Obama the right to close hundreds of GM and Chrysler dealerships! That is, destroy thousands of jobs and millions in value. Zap.

Hail, Caesar!

Those folks didn’t do a darn thing to deserve those businesses. They were too stupid and too busy feathering their own nests with the ill-gotten gains of commerce to realize: Government did it all for them.

Then took them over. Then took it all away.

(I read something like 4/5 of the closed dealerships belonged to Republican donors. I’m sure that had NOTHING to do with it.)

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado is going to be used to get the “you didn’t build that” narrative out of the news cycle. Get ready for a whole “Obama was magnanimous, displaying real Presidential leadership on Friday” during today’s and tonight’s news shows, and the Sunday morning talk show circus. They’ve been looking for a diversion over Obama’s non-gaffe, as well as the horrible economic news of this week.

If anyone tried to break it up, they will receive nothing but condemnation and scorn for doing so, in an attempt to make us go along with the change in narrative.

TrooperJohnSmith | July 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

It’s another example of the idiotic notion that Teh Chosen Won is too complex and too nuanced for we, the unwashed and ignorant, to fully comprehend.

Anyone who speaks, reads and understands the American English dialect knows this “out of context” reasoning is bogus. However, look at his target audience. A huge number don’t comprehend well enough to understand that he meant exactly what he said; many more are so blinded by ideology or racial identity that they don’t care what he said. The rest, they’re clueless, because starting a business is as alien to them as ‘Hooked on Phonics’ is to my dog, Aqua Velva.

Again, when we had a Free Press in America, they were the Truth Detectors of record, protected by a sense of journalistic integrity and the US Constitution. Sadly, the Fourth Estate is now complicit in providing cover and sustenance to anyone with a -D after their name, thus abrogating the “balance” of their duties to the New Media.

William A. Jacobson: Sorry, Mr. President, the video doesn’t lie. You meant what you said, and you said what you meant.

Yes, and the video clearly shows he was referring to roads and bridges, as is clear from the context.

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

    CalMark in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Oh, hello there Troll!

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    That’s a nice spin, but wrong. Let’s use the English Language as our guide:

    If he was speaking of “roads and bridges,” he would have clearly indicated a restatement of these two nouns using the plural pronoun THOSE. Note: A good use of English would indicate that he not restate as a ‘pronoun’ but instead, use a collective noun such as ‘infrastructure’ or ‘public works’. That ends the dishonest equivocation, unless what he meant was in fact, ‘business’.

    However, business – singular – was clearly restated using the singular pronoun THAT.

    I’m sure that his teleprompter was perfectly clear, on THAT!

    /your BS

    Steve Urkel’s Marxist Twin’s “Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?” remark wasn’t the road and bridges part…

    It was this, “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.”

    Don’t Piss Down My Back and Tell Me It’s Raining. You can Context This! (Popular South Bronx Hand Gesture).

    When “… we do things together…” it will be on November 6th when we get to evict this disrespectful, good for nothing, communist ingrate from the White House.

    iconotastic in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Maybe President Downgrade has trouble with comprehending English. What? Weren’t there English classes in his Indonesian school? Maybe right after his classes on the Koran?

Dr. Krauthammer politely took that liberal lady to the woodshed in the online after show. It truly is must watch viewing. Yesterday’s show should be posted soon.

TrooperJohnSmith: I’m sure that his teleprompter was perfectly clear, on THAT!

Your interpretation is not consistent with the rest of the speech.

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

    iconotastic in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Give it up. President Downgrade was very clear when he stated that “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” Trooper understands English, even if you (and, by extension apparently, Obama) do not.

    And come on! Every true Obama supporter believes the collective–society–is responsible for success and failure anyway. But Obama supporters know that this outlook is profoundly unAmerican so they have to hide it away and reject it when the truth slips out.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Listen Zach, the context is in the words.

    If I say, “Railroad crossing, look out for the cars, can you spell that without any R’s?” What am I referring to by ‘that’? Is it ‘railroad crossing, look out for the cars,’ or is it ‘that’? The answer is, it can be either, because it’s a badly written sentence.

    Now, If the Prez-O-Bama says, “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.

    In that last sentence, “roads and bridges” are plural and are in a prepositional phrase that modifies ‘invested’. That whole paragraph is a single thought like a talking-point and is directed to everyone, business owners and non-owners.

    In the next statement, he switches tracks and makes another stand-alone point. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that!”

    In that simple sentence, ‘business’ is singular. He states ‘If you have got a business,’ which is a dependent clause upon the, ‘you didn’t build that‘. THAT is a singular pronoun, referring to business.

    As for the next statement, “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

    As poorly as this is (written?) articulated, this last sentence restates his premise in point 1 and point 2, but he spins it to imply that the road, the school, the sewer and other government things were what really allowed you to create the business.

    My point: If Prez-O-Bama wants to speak in the vernacular of the people – off teleprompter – he needs to learn to speak clearly. Poor sentence construction; lazy speech patterns (trying to sound ‘street’) and playing to the crowd response results in unclear statements like these. It is hard to be unequivocal when you are a master of equivocation. YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!

    In short, words do mean what they mean. Don’t insult anyone’s intelligence, especially people who know their own fu*king language, by going outside the accepted bounds of grammar, speech and comprehension to help this supposed great communication UNSAY what he clearly said.

    As a good little apparatchik, you’ve failed. Thanks for playing!

    sybilll in reply to Zachriel. | July 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I listened to the whole segment of that speech. It was chock full of Collectivist doublespeak. Defend your Marxist all you want, but face it, he let his true colors show.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Zachriel. | July 21, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Yo, Zach, me boy, go home. Your village is missing its idiot.

Obama feels able to lie with impunity, knowing that anyone who is even a potential voter for him either doesn’t care or is too stupid to notice.

The FACT that he meant exactly what he said is proven by the White House comments the next day after the speech. They basically doubled down on it, and I believe Obama did so himself the other day in another speech.

It is only after they see the backlash gaining and public opinion solidly against them that they attempted this lie of “out of context.” Several leftist bloggers and others had perceived the problem and begun that meme even while Obama was confirming his original words.

Without respect to what he may have meant to say, his actions clearly show what he believes.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | July 21, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Hussein was just trying to keep the class warfare ginned up for the election. Or maybe he wants to make sure the rioters target pleanty of businesses when he goes down in flames.

    Preaching to the parasites that they somehow contributed something meaningful to society and commerce is just another way of confirming to the takers that they’re entitled, by virtue of the fact that they draw breath, to the fruits of another’s labor.

    It’s always the same message, just served with different “nuances” and trimmings.

If my business fails, is that the government’s fault?

TrooperJohnSmith | July 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Okay, I’ll put on my old Copyreader hat and rewrite this for all you little Left-wing apparatchiks and apparatchikia. Turn this in to Prez-O-Bama and tell him this is how to be clear and not get tripped up sounding all street ‘n stuff!

“Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you, all of us, to thrive. Somebody Together, we all invested in roads and bridges and all of the other infrastructure to create and expand commerce.


If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that all by yourself, though at times it felt like you were alone.

Shorter PAUSE

Why do I say that? The point is, is that Well, when we succeed, we succeed not only because of our individual initiative, but we also succeed because we do things together. It’s a partnership between we in government and you all in private business.”


It feels so much like you business folks are alone out there, it’s because things are really bad right now. I haven’t had my jobs task force meet in over six months, but I will rectify that in the next week.

No… he’d ever read this. He sure as hell would never conceive of these words on his own. No, when Prez-O-Bama is in his element haranguing the crowd, he slips into his preacher mode and speaks the truth. Yes, he did absorb a lot from his mentors Jerry Wright and Frank Marshall Davis. It certainly showed on this day…

No amount of walking back and sending forth the ObamaZombies to “unsay” what was clearly said can put the genie back in the bottle.

I no longer own my own business. I built it and I sold it. Now I work for the new owners, and that’s just great in my opinion.

But I’ve been up since 03:00 this morning, in fact, it’s a rare week that I don’t put in 80 to 100 hours during the growing season.

I love what I do – I am good at it – in fact, I think I am among the best at it.

Tonight, on my way home from work, covered in fertilizer dust and pesticide residue, I saw some Elizabeth Warren supporters standing on an overpass with a giant “Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts sign, waving at the cars passing underneath.

Elizabeth Warren was once one of my customers, utterly unbeknownst to me, but accounts receivable flowed from her checking account to mine. My contact was entirely with her husband, who was a peach of a guy.

As I approached the underpass…

I rolled down the window, stuck out my hand and gave them the finger.

It was juvenile, it was petty, it was stupid.

And it felt really, really good.

I will be making another donation to Scott Brown tomorrow.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Come to think of it I built a whole house once minus the slab & plumbing & wiring of course.

I put up the steel frames & climbed up & secured cathedral style roof trusses & laid the actual roof. Then I layed all the exterior walls (mortared all the Hebel bricks ) did the internal plaster & sanded down the exterior by hand & painted it also.

I haven’t thought bout it much but it must be pretty ok for I get $465 per week rent. Who would have thought Obama could make me feel better about my measley contribution to humanity ? Somebody has a nice sunny energy efficient home & we allow dogs. So I have made people happy.

Thanks BHO.

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