President Obama, who recently said “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” declared in a new interview that it is the job of the federal government to “create opportunity” for American workers.
“[T]hose of us who believe the government can be a force for good when it comes to creating opportunity for folks who are willing to work hard and play by the rules to get into the middle class, we have an obligation to make sure government works,” Obama told CBS during an interview that aired this morning on Face the Nation.
The president indicated he was repeating the argument from his convention speech, but he never told the nation so bluntly that the government has such a dynamic role in the economic success of the American people.
Instead, Obama offered a more passive view of government. He opened by conceding that “not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington,” before saying that “government has a role” in the nation’s success because of the need for good teachers. Obama also stated his “belief that those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it so that it’s leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the American people.”
His comments during the CBS interview recall the Roanoke speech that prompted The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone to say that “Obama believes success is a gift from government.” As Obama argued: