BY OLYMPIA MEOLA
President Barack Obama’s campaign is releasing a new TV ad pushing back on heat he’s getting for comments he made in Roanoke about small businesses.
Obama said during a July campaign stop in Roanoke that “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. 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.”
He went on to say, according to a transcript of his remarks, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. 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. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
Republicans have hammered Obama over the remarks.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign is airing a TV ad featuring them, and on Wednesday Republicans will hold “We Did Build This” events in Richmond and Roanoke “to allow small business owners the chance to respond to President Obama’s insulting claim that ‘If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen’.”
The Richmond event is scheduled to include Gov. Bob McDonnell and two business owners.
In the new Obama ad, the president speaks directly to the camera and says “Those ads taking my words about small business out of context, they’re flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses.”
He later says, “And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology.”
The 30-second “Always” will air here and in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.