President Obama’s campaign managed to deny that he said “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” in a campaign video that replayed a clip of the president saying that at a campaign stop in Virginia on Saturday.
“That’s not what he said,” the video declares in response to Mitt Romney quoting the president’s remarks. To contradict Romney, the Obama campaign replays this line: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help; there was a great teacher somewhere in your life.”
Viewers have to wait another 20 seconds for the Obama campaign to acknowledge the words that, as Romney pointed out, he did say. “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” Obama is heard saying.
The argument of the video hinges on the word “that” — the Obama team is saying that the president was referring to the “roads and bridges” that business owners did not, by themselves, build. (Although, their tax dollars doubtless helped finance the infrastructure spending.)
What did Obama say next in that speech, though? “The Internet didn’t get invented on its own,” he said (in a clip not included in this campaign video). “Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
His argument at that point is, clearly, that government spending enables the success of business owners, and so those business owners should have to pay more in taxes.