“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.”
Barack Obama’s famous blunder will haunt him for this election campaign. Even though the now famous words “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that” were actually meant to refer to roads and bridges, not an entrepreneur’s business; it is a potent soundbite for the Romney campaign and every Romney Super PAC. The Romney campaign knows what Obama was trying to say, but they have no reason not to exploit Obama’s mistake.
It is no surprise that truth and politics part ways in a presidential campaign. That has been happening in American presidential politics since the first contested presidential race in 1796 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. No one should expect less.
If the Obama campaign is smart, it will reach back to 2002 and plug this video of Romney speaking at the Winter Olympics. The similarities to Obama’s comments are striking.
Romney told the athletes in the audience: “You didn’t get here solely on your own.” Romney stated that other people from parents to coaches helped the athletes. Sound familiar?
The trick for the Obama campaign will be using the Romney video in an effective 30 or 60-second ad without reemphasizing Obama’s own misspoken words.