Allentown Morning Call
Political pundits across the country have said President Barack Obama’s sound bite about entrepreneurs last week is a gift to Republicans that keeps on giving.
Obama was talking about how successful people were helped somewhere along the line: a great teacher, the American system, government investment in roads and bridges, government research that created the Internet, etc.
And the line that gets the most attention: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
At the grand opening of Republican campaign office at the Westgate Mall, Sen. Pat Toomey and senator hopeful Tom Smith lobbed a few biting jokes at the president when speaking about their own business backgrounds.
Smith, a Republican, was introduced as a man of humble beginnings who built several mining companies.
“I didn’t build those companies alone,” he said when he took the podium. “But I can tell you precisely who was the biggest help in me building those companies. And that was a nice lady — and we’ve been married for 44 years — by the name of Mrs. Smith.”
Toomey, a Republican elected in 2010, spoke about how he and his brother toiled in building the former Rookies restaurant in Allentown.
“Now, for the life of me, I’m trying to remember a 2 o’clock a.m. moment when, after last call and the lights went up and we’re sweeping: where was Barack Obama,” he said through the crowd’s laughter. “I missed that.”
Obama has since called the sound bite a “bogus issue” in an interview with WCTV-TV in Tallahassee, saying that he was making the point that together “we build roads and we build bridges.”