In a recent interview with Virginia’s NBC 12, President Barack Obama said he “regrets” his “syntax,” but not the point he made when he told business owners, “You didn’t build that.” The President claims that it is easy to determine what he meant.
Republicans have used Obama’s Roanoke, Va., speech as a battle cry, claiming that Democrats do not understand small business and its role in the economy.
In July, Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney responded to Obama’s comment:
To say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Crock didn’t build McDonalds, that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft, you go down the list, that Joe and his colleagues didn’t build this enterprise, to say something like that is not just foolishness, it’s insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America. It’s wrong.
In the most recent interview, Obama was asked point-blank about the controversy and its effect on the campaign. He responded by saying that he made the point he wanted to make. That is, in order for businesses to be successful, “we all have to invest in schools, and roads, and bridges.” He went on to explain that “You didn’t build that,” essentially meant, “You didn’t start the road project.”
He added that there is “a tendency for the other side to shade the truth a little bit.”
When the interviewer pointed out that some business owners did read the whole speech and doing so made them even more upset, Obama noted that such people would probably be Republicans listening to “Republican talking points.”