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Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' Business Comments: Is He Wrong?

The president's small-business comments upset many people and gave Republican Mitt Romney a point of attack. But Barack Obama said the comments were taken out of context. What do you think? Take the Patch Poll.

President Barack Obama's recent comments about small business created a firestorm that could become a focus of the 2012 election — even as Obama and his supporters say his comments were taken out of context. 

"Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own," he said during a July 13 speech in Virginia. "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help ... If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Take the Patch poll below: Who plays the most significant role in creating jobs and economic growth?

That's not the entire speech, which you can read on the independent FactCheck.org. According to that post, the comments were taken out of context:

"There’s no question Obama inartfully phrased those two sentences, but it’s clear from the context what the president was talking about. He spoke of government — including government-funded education, infrastructure and research — assisting businesses to make what he called 'this unbelievable American system that we have.' "

With small business being the backbone of the local economy in all of our communities, Obama's words and the ensuing discussion have put an emphasis on whose responsibility it is to create jobs and economic growth. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 35 percent of business owners approve of the job the president has done

So let's talk. Take the poll below and tell us in the comments: 

  • Which has the most valuable impact on a local community: small business, big business, local government or federal government? 
  • Are small business owners primarily responsible for the success or failure of their business? 
  • Were Obama's comments taken out of context, or do his critics have a fair point? 

 

COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED ON THIS POST.

Jim Smith July 31, 2012 at 10:49 PM
"He clearly believes war will cure the deficets" Can you provide a link to some of Romney's statements where he says that war will cure deficits?
lvent July 31, 2012 at 11:03 PM
That's just unacceptable Bob B. The truth is being covered up about why we are nnearing another manufactured economic collapse.....MASSIVE AND UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT FRAUD COMMITTED BY THE FED AND THE POLITICIANS AND THEIR FOREIGN INVESTOR MINIONS AND COHORTS...THE TRUE EFFECTS OF THIS HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN FELT. THE ENDING TO THIS COULD BE APOCOLYPTIC IF THESE CROOKS ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR CRIMINAL FRAUD.
lvent July 31, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Have you not been paying attention.....? Romney is a war monger. Iran is the weapon they are using to foment a war.
Jim Smith July 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM
"He clearly believes war will cure the deficets" Can you provide a link to some of Romney's statements where he says that war will cure deficits?
What a Deal! July 31, 2012 at 11:49 PM
@ Bob...who said.... "You are lucky that your business wasn't noticed by Bain. They would've bought you out, fired all of the your employees and move it to the 3rd world if there was $5 in it for them. Then they would've hid their millions in an offshore banking haven." Sorry, that you are MISINFORMED...the fact is, Bain never went to ANY company unless they were requested and/or approved by that company. Only then Bain would do an analysis. What may, or may not be done. Then this was presented to the ownership, board of directors, etc. The decision on whether to let Bain take over was up SOLEY to the ownership. There was NEVER a leveraged buyout of hostile takeover. The owners KNEW, if/when they CONSENTed, exactly what the plan of action was. Still, there were no guarantees it would succeed. If ownership said NO, Bain left. Bain offered capital & management to provide a FAILING business an opportunity to succeed. Some people lost their jobs, but, the greater good was served. The alternative was EVERBODY lost their jobs & the community suffered. Bain NEVER went in to buy a SUCCESSFUL businesse. They risked their money. More jobs were created & communities served in a positive way than jobs lost & communities folded. Bain looked for companies that could become successful as only a FOOL would try to save a boat that is already sunk....but, again, Bain NEVER went to a company/business they were not INVITED to or ownership &/or Board didn't approve BEFOREHAND.
Jim Smith July 31, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Bob said: " Corporations have record earnings again and they are sitting on a mountain of cash," Some corporations have record earnings, others don't. Based on the uncertainty, it would WRONG for corporations not to have increased their cash reserves if they had the opportunity. Individuals and families have cut back on our spending, too. The rule of thumb of of having 6-months living expenses in the bank has changed so that the goal is to have a 12 to 18 months living expenses available. With the possibility of another downturn looming ahead, businesses need to have more cash available than they did. If instead, they spent their cash - and then went bankrupt because they couldn't pay their long-term debt, liberals would be screaming that those failed corporations did not meet their fiduciary responsibility. Please consider the reality of the situation.
Bob B July 31, 2012 at 11:56 PM
IVENT, you sir or madam are certifiable. Rant on and put on your foil hat. You are now the lead wing-nut of all time on Patch!
Jim Smith August 01, 2012 at 12:00 AM
"The Republicans in Congress have gone out if their way to make sure Obama (and our country) accomplished nothing!" As of 12/31/2006, unemployment was 4.4% and the federal debt was ~$8.7T. Three days later, Democrats took majority control of both houses of the 110th session of Congress. That's when the misery started. Instead of successfully dealing with the economic issues at hand, the Democrats who ran Congress spent their time and effort instead: 1) Undermining the Bush Administration; 2) Working to elect Barry, and; 3) Advancing their social agenda. I have to laugh about Dems' complaints that Bush vetoed their efforts to deal with the economy. Bush issued FEWER vetoes (12) than any president since Warren Harding - and 1/3 of Bush's vetoes were overruled by Congress! Furthermore, none of the successful vetoes had anything to do with bills pertaining to the economy. Consider that FDR used the veto 635 times - more than 50 times as often as Bush did. That's what REAL obstructionism looks like. And also consider that Dems locked Reps out of discussion sessions. Bush's biggest mistake was to try to include Dems in the government - like letting Ted Kennedy write NCLB or retaining Dem judges instead of replacing them.
What a Deal! August 01, 2012 at 12:01 AM
So when you are seeing these posts in an emai how can you directly to "THAT" post to reply? I go to reply and I have to search through 750 comments (and counting) to find the appropriate place to click REPLY....I need to change everyone's mind here ya know?
Bob August 01, 2012 at 12:02 AM
@ What a Deal who said Bain NEVER went in to buy a SUCCESSFUL businesse. Bain NEVER went to a company/business they were not INVITED to or ownership &/or Board didn't approve BEFOREHAND. Assuming that is true, which I have no idea of, how do you know that ALL of these companies were unprofitable? I find that hard to believe. I know one thing for sure. You can make more money moving the business to China or some other 3rd world country where people will work for as little as $200 a month versus $15 to $30 an hour in the U.S. I'll bet you could really stock up some serious wealth in a Swiss bank account doing that for a living. But don't call yourself an American when your fortune is made destroying American jobs and don't have the nerve to run for President. If he was a real American, he'd have figured out how to protect our jobs and keep them here, not be one of the main profiteers making money from destroying our job market. Our politicians were paid well to look the other way while millions of jobs went where the labor was dirt cheap. We gave the companies huge tax breaks and they moved the jobs anyway. We should have laws to keep those jobs here. If you want to make your products somewhere else and sell them here, be prepared to pay a nice big tax when you bring it into the country. That is the way it should have been. Maybe we'd have kept most of the jobs here if we'd done that..
lvent August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Hoping one of these two candidates will save US is not going to save US. WE NEED A REFERENDUM ON THE 2012 BALLOT TO RESTORE THE US CONSTITUTION TO ITS ORIGINAL FORM...THAT WILL RESTORE THE CURRENCY....U.S. BANK NOTES AND ABOLISH THE FED AND THE ABUSE OF POWER BY THESE POLITICIANS...!
Sara Waters August 01, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Gary - I know plenty of people who own their own business are extremely wealthy and pretend they got there by themselves. In truth, they got a paid college education (thanks to their parents and/or grandparents), and started their business with free office space (again thanks to parent) and an interest free loan from said parent (with no pay back date) and will argue, they did it. Were they responsible for it staying successful? Yes. But don't act like these handouts didn't help them along the way.
lvent August 01, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I would like to add a key word to my above comment....COMPLETE CONTROL BY THE POLITICIANS IS COMPLETE COMMUNISM...
What a Deal! August 01, 2012 at 12:17 AM
@ Bob.....ob 7:02 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 Mission and Philosophy. It is true, they have never went in where they were not invited and/or allowed.... As far as moving a company and jobs to another region, country, or even continent MAY happen. That is true also. That said, the ownership and/or board of directors is given that plan ahead of time and told if that is an option. The ownership makes the FINAL decision to agree or sennd Bain packing. They are under NO OBLIGATION, they are NEVER leveraged or taken over. Bain does not even BUY the company all times. Sometimes they offer capital for cash flow and management. When the company has made difficult changes or moves, if they opt to, they can institute their management and resume control of their company for a fee. Part of Bain's philosophy is also to retain all jobs in America. UNFORTUNATELY, this is not always an option. Some companies have gone overseas as a last resort...those people would have LOST THEIR JOB by way of closing anyway at that point. But if they DO go OVERSEAS, their are times the company got back on its feet and moved or expanded into AMERICA again. If they go overseas maybe their should be some questions as to why....is tax making profit impossible, do regs make profit impossible, does healthcare or other benefits prohibit proft? The choice to go overseas is the difference of surviving or sinking. It is a part of Bains
Jim Smith August 01, 2012 at 12:36 AM
"WE NEED A REFERENDUM ON THE 2012 BALLOT TO RESTORE THE US CONSTITUTION TO ITS ORIGINAL FORM...THAT WILL RESTORE THE CURRENCY....U.S. BANK NOTES AND ABOLISH THE FED AND THE ABUSE OF POWER BY THESE POLITICIANS...!" Is it realistic to begin the process of putting a referendum on the 2012 ballot at this point? Have your researched this? What do you want to use instead of US currency?
Jim Smith August 01, 2012 at 12:38 AM
You can't go directly to any particular post by clicking on a link. However, if you remember a short phrase from the email you received, you can use your browser's search function (usually activated with ctrl-f) to search for and find the target post in very little time.
Jim Smith August 01, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Hey Tony, when am I going to receive the money you promised me? I already sent the "good faith" investment you required!
Billable Hours August 01, 2012 at 12:56 AM
None of that disproves that the republicans have done nothing but stonewall all legislation since Obama has taken office! They shoot down all the democratic ideas, but offer no solutions. They put their party before the country time after time after time!
Dave August 01, 2012 at 01:08 AM
If it's true that Patch writers are paid a nickel per comment - this guy is closing in on a cool 40 bucks!
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I think I can speak for my fellow editors when I say that we all have more important things to do than inflate the comment sections under pseudonyms. Furthermore, if anyone was doing that, they'd probably be discovered quickly and fired.
lvent August 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Jim Smith....as I stated U.S. BANK NOTES ......WAS THE U.S. CURRENCY BACKED BY GOLD BEFORE THE FEDERAL RESERVE WAS FRAUDULENTLY INDUCED BY TRAITORS IN CONGRESS AND THE TRAITOR PRESIDENT WHO SIGNED THE FEDERAL RESERVE INTO EXISTANCE. There was a book written about this ENTITLED....THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND.....about how the bankers met with the corrupt politicians on Jekyll Island and made their plans for their coup de tat of our financial system...The story about why the titanic went down ties into this. Nixon was even more of a traitor for taking the dollar off of the Gold Standard...in 1972 ....The truth is the FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE IS NOT U.S. CURRENCY...IT IS WORLD BANK CURRENCY....WE WERE DUPED...GOOGLE U.S. BANK NOTES AND SEE THE SIMILARITIES. THE $2 DOLLAR BILL IS AN U.S. BANK NOTE....ON THE FACE THE DIFFERENCES ARE SUBTLE BUT THIS WAS TREASON....BY DECEPTION...
lvent August 01, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Extra...extra...read all about it. http://www.forbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/blackpope.htm
Denise Du Vernay August 01, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Michael's buying drinks! (Dave, that's not true, btw. If only).
lvent August 01, 2012 at 02:18 AM
If dark forces are blocking the above link Google it...
The Guru August 01, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Yeah, kinda sucks when someone uses the same game against you.... maybe its payback for the "I can see russia from my house" BS the liberal media and the Dems ran with last election.
lvent August 01, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Headline....Four people found guilty, sentenced to death for billion dollar bank fraud: http://4closurefraud.org/2012/07/31/guilty-four-people-sentenced-to-death-for-billion-dollar-bank-fraud/
Political PR Machine August 01, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Thought you'd enjoy this site too: www.mybadbankexperience.com write all you want on that one too!
Tony Cesare August 01, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Um, ok, I'll try. But can I still BLOG IN ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS ?????
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Say good night, Gracie.

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