Mitt Romney and the conservative blogosphere are pushing a selectively edited Obama campaign speech to suggest that the president believes that the government is responsible for the successes of small businesses.
Obama’s full remarks, which pointed out that taxpayer-funded infrastructure and services enable businesses to prosper, are demonstratively true and represent a sentiment shared by Republican leaders. For instance, Mitt Romney himself made an almost identical point during his speech at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, crediting the community for helping individuals achieve the pinnacle of success:
ROMNEY: You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities.
Obama echoed this sentiment in his misquoted campaign speech on July 13: “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together,” he said.
Romney agreed with Obama as recently as last week, saying in a campaign appearance, “I know that you recognize a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the bank, the investors. There is no question your mom and dad, your school teachers. The people who provide roads, the fire, the police. A lot of people help.”