The Meaning of "That"

Mitt Romney is, without doubt, a representative of contemporary capitalism, a spectacularly rich financier who got his money not by making things but by buying and selling companies, exploiting leverage, and a whole bunch of other things folks like you and me will never have the privilege of understanding. So it isn't surprising that this campaign has featured a debate about the nature of our economic system. That debate could be a salutary and educational discussion that leaves us all more informed and aware. Or it could be an occasion for some of the most vile demagoguery you could imagine. Do you need to ask which course it will take?

By now, we can all agree that a large portion of the Republican party has created in their minds an imaginary Barack Obama, one who is either a literal or philosophical foreigner (Romney has begun dropping the word "foreign" in as often as he can when discussing Obama), who hates America (here's Rush Limbaugh on Monday: "I think it can now be said, without equivocation—without equivocation—that this man hates this country"), and one who hates success, hates rich people, and hates capitalism itself. And if you can't find any actual evidence for these propositions—if "Barack Obama hates job creators so much he actually wants to increase the top income tax rate by 4.6 percentage points!" doesn't have quite the ring you'd like—then it isn't hard to find words you can twist around to make your point.

Which brings us to the word "that." If you've been to a Mitt Romney speech in the last day or so, or if you've watched Fox News or listened to conservative talk radio, or even if you've watched some mainstream news*, you would have heard that Barack Obama said that people who own businesses didn't actually build their businesses. Only a secret socialist could say such a thing, and Romney and his allies assure us that Obama did indeed say that and he is indeed that kind of person. But here's what Obama actually said:

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.

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.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President -- because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

When this quote worked its way up from the conservative media to the Romney campaign, they knew they had something. Sure, it's obvious that when Obama said "you didn't build that" he was talking about roads and bridges. But who cares? You can take that one sentence out of context, lie about what "that" in the quote refers to, and you've got evidence of Obama's America-hating heart.

And yes, it is a lie, a word I use carefully. Romney and the people who work for him know full well what Obama was and wasn't saying. But they decided to go ahead and engage in an act of intentional deception anyway, and I'm sure he'll be repeating it many times.

There's actually a discussion to be had about the radical individualism that has taken over the conservative movement, which Obama was responding to in his speech. I'd be interested to hear Mitt Romney's thoughts on it, not in a "gotcha" kind of way, but because I genuinely want to know what his response to Obama's arguments would be. Does he think that every rich person got rich completely on their own and owes nothing to the society that created the context that allowed their wealth to be created? I really have no idea. But the deeper into this campaign we go, the more it becomes clear that we'll never know what Romney really believes about anything. And he may not be the most dishonest presidential candidate we've ever seen, but give him time—he's working on it.

 

*Last night I saw Peter Alexander on NBC Nightly News do a story in which he showed Obama's quote clipped exactly as Romney did, making it seem that Romney was being absolutely truthful. It was one of the most maddening acts of journalistic jackassery I've seen in some time.

Comments

It's known as that alternate universe that exists only in the mind of a liberal where truth and lies are whatever they want them to be

These comments are starting to look like a smoke screen. The point Obama was most likely trying to make is that businesses are not built by individuals, in most cases, but by cooperative effort. The inspired guy takes a huge risk and hires other people to help him along. This works fairly with construction, private security, and a host of other business types that rely on the boss getting his hands dirty. It's a radically different matter with a guy like Romney who simply picked businesses apart and gambled money in speculation. You can bicker back and forth about whether Obama meant roads and bridges or businesses, but the fact of the matter is that every large scale project requires cooperative ventures and those ventures are often government funded. The internet took off because private industries successfully co-opted existing national defense infrastructure and technology. I think Obama is making a fair argument about who benefits most from existing infrastructure and, by consequence, who should pay for the majority of it. Since I've never met a security guard who owns a house, I think it only fair that the company owner pay a bit more for the house he's got and maybe a bit more to help his impoverished employees.

Cooperative effort? MANY businesses are just one person, the owner. You think business start out hiring 40-50 people? No, it's the owner who is chief cook, bottlewasher, accountant, janitor etc. and the reason he can't hire as many people as he needs is because that Mafia organization. also known as the Feral Gov't, hits him up for it's cut and makes him a deal he "can't refuse". How is that cooperative.?You commies really got this obsession going on with cooperative effort.

Speaking as someone who has just become the co-owner of a small business, I say you're full of it. We did NOT do it alone, and the business could not survive without government-provided services and legal protections.

And there you people go with that "fair" thing again. You sound like a bunch of two year olds. "that's not FAIR"!

Does Paul Waldman really have such a low opinion of American adults that he thinks they can't watch the actually video of Obama speaking and understand what he said?

Good grief. The arrogance of the limousine elite is endless.

I'm sorry Paul, but President Obama stepped new deep into it. You should at least pay the most powerful man in the world the courtesy of taking him at his word. He is now completely out of the closet as an card carrying enemy of free enterprise. I thought you would rejoice?

Obama's acolytes and sycophants seem to always be trying to explain "what he really said." Happens all the time. Now he said what he said, but of course anyone but a stupid, knuckle-dragging moron of a Republican knows that's not really what he said. Well, to put a slightly finer point on it, that's not really what he meant. The problem with Obama is that when he wanders off from his teleprompter he is like a loaded gun -- and his flunkies run for cover. This latest attempt at trying to turn the tables is just really, really funny. Poor guy. Even his flacks have run out of excuses.

No reason to get nasty. For all the counter posts I've been placing I'm just trying to bring a sense of center. Most of you guys seem a bit hyperbolic. Warren Buffet would get my vote if he'd bother to run. He's a good hybrid... elitist socialist.

No, there's no need to explain what he really meant, because it's obvious when you see the sentence in context. All we want you to do is read that context, and stop pretending it doesn't exist.

Message to liberals based on Obama's new grammar rules.

Obama is the most ethical president ever!
Obama: One Big Asinine Mistake America . . . I don't really mean that.

Infantile.

Oh Please..Obama is the worst president this country has ever had the misfortune to elect..He got off TelePrompTer and told his "truth." and now had galvanized Romney and the GOP..This is a turning point and has focused the election..do we want an entrepreneurial country based on principal of free enterprise or a continuing bankrupt european socialist country...It no surprise that people are turning against Obama..when July's job Report show less than 50000 jobs created or even less his slide tuRn into a collapse..His snide lying attacks on Romney, his lack of interest in meeting his own Jobs council because of a "full plate"..of golf, Oprah interviews, fundraisers, and pick-up basketball games at the WH..is now being fully reveled despite the cover-up of the so-called mainstream media to the growing disgust of the American people..Come November he will be swept from office .just what Like happened with the great Jimmy Carter!!

False dilemma. We might have a free market economy with higher taxes on the rich and a well funded school system. Or we could have Romney.

It's only a false dilemma in that alternate universe known as liberal land.

Obama isn't even the worst President of the 21st century. That record will be very, very difficult to beat.

Yes, Obama was referring to roads and bridges when he said, "you didn't build that." In fact, it's blatantly obvious that this is what he was referring to. At least, it's blatantly obvious to anyone who's willfully blind, and willfully stupid. To everyone else, he was saying exactly what it looks like he's saying. That business owners have no claim on anything they've done. Because they didn't build the business that they built. Just like Obama was awarded a Nobel Prize that he didn't earn. That's what "that" means.

Hmm -- "willfully blind and stupid" sounds like a very good description of people who flatly refuse to read the sentence immediately preceding that one or the one immediately following it. Republicans were furious, and with some justification, when Romney was quoted as saying "I like to fire people," when he was clearly referring in context not to the businesses Bain "managed" (often leaving them with huge debt while walking away with big profits) but to companies with which he does business as a customer. He meant that he likes the existence of competition, because it lets him switch contractors if necessary. We all do. But out of context it does sound as though he meant he liked to put people out of work, and a lot of partisans used the same argument you guys are using. "Even if it's not what he meant in context, it's a Freudian slip that shows what he really thinks." That, of course, is malarkey, and so is this.

"If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen". If there is any lying here is Mr Waldman that telling the wopper! There is no way you can read that quote and interpret "that" means anything other than the business in "If you've got a business"! And then Obama continues making it worse by saying "you didn't make it happen" which clear refers to the "business" again, not to roads and bridges. Maybe if English isn't your native language you can twist the grammar around in another language to make it means something differt like Mr Waldman is trying to do, but Obama's native language, last I heard, was English. So he meant exactly what he said. And if a Harvard Law Professor and President of the United States can't say what he means when he knows tens of millions of people are watching? Well what is he doing in the White House? Gov Romney is right! Obama didn't make a gaffe, he said exactly what he meant, and what he believes. What's odd is you can bet that Mr Waldman and the left who are now trying to backtrack for Obama actually believe exactly what Obama said and meant. That no matter how hard you work you aren't reponsible for your own success. You owe it all to the Government! They just know that Obama's message won't sell!!!!

Well he IS fluent in Farsi, the language he used where he grew up in INDONESIA. Whether it is his native language or not, he is still dumb as rocks but he can read "real good". Just the quality i have always looked for in a POTUS, excellent reading skills.

Ooooooh, scary! We can't have a President who speaks any language besides good ol'American! Look at Bush 43, he was a real man and he could barely even speak that.

Parsing the speech will never change the fact that like lizzie warren he is
promoting collectivism over individualism. No matter how many times
his beliefs are revealed the MSM loons don't get it. He wants government
to control production and distribution according to HIS definition of "social
justice". Hasn't anyone on the left read the history of "collectivism" in
Russia, Cuba, China, etc. ? Over 100 million were exterminated under the
imaginary pursuit of "equality". Wake Up America!!!

This is fun.... Keep twisting your panties in a wad... Obama said what he said. Isnt videotape a beautiful thing. "that" was clearly about the business, not what government creates. Now I know why Obama's staff had those teleprompters mitten clipped to his suit jackets (oh look I made a funny ...."mitten" clip) . This was such insight into how government centric Obama's worldview is and how little respect he has for the private sector. Its also why businesses that have capital are holding onto it for dear life until Romney gets into the White House. I cant wait!!

Yes, video IS a beautiful thing, especially since it makes the full text fully available. Romney's defenders can try to spin this pulled quote any way they like, but they can't change the fact that as they used to say on the X-files, "the truth is out there."

This article shows both the lack of intelligence and the raw deceit that the left requires to justify their views.

Quote "Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The phrase "roads and bridges" is plural and the word "business" is singular. He used the singular word "that" and not the plural word "those." If you want to claim that is not what the President meant then you'll also have to suspend simple grammatical rules. An easy feat for the delusional. I am going to guess that most responses will either be name calling or a crtique of my spelling or grammer anything but add
ressing my central point.

Obama didn't exactly mince his words. Clearly we don't need spin doctors like yourself to go back and put words other than the ones he spoke in his mouth.

Obama thinks private business owes its success to the government. He(and you) should wear that with pride, like a boat anchor around your necks this election cycle.

Talk about lying and deceiving! WOW! I have listened to Obama's speech multiple times. The overall context of his speech is that he is talking about raising taxes on the rich, which includes the entrepreneurs and small business people. He was talking about their businesses and how they "did not build that." This Guy Waldman, in order to find out a way out for Obama comes out and says "that" is referring to bridges and roads. The problem with that is that not only Obama, but Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray gave just about the same speech that Obama made. All three of them were talking about those entrepreneurs having not building their businesses but owing to teachers, etc ... that is, owing to the government. That is the gist of it. All the distorting on the explanation do not change the fact. Waldman, you ought to be ashamed for lying like this!

What planet are you on? No matter how you try to spin Obama's comments, he has totally dissed business. Did he mean that businesses didn't build roads.. who cares? They they did build roads, as the people pay taxes which build the roads.
But I don't think that is what he meant, and especially if you look at the prior paragraph, which shows he has no regard for the part that brains and hard work play in making it.
I am a poker player.. you need skills and luck, with emphasis on the luck.. we can't prescribe people's lives, as much as you think government should. BTW, FOX news played the clip in its entirety,, each and every time I heard it.. but you think everyone but yourself is ignorant... a typical liberal who thinks he is the only one who ever has it right.

Obama was being rather professorial imho. The notion of a business is an abstract construct, a legal entity that you can only 'build' by virtue of there being a legal infrastructure. Yes you can claim you built the business, but did you build the entire legal system that allowed you to do it? Did you guarantee the rights of commerce and exchange etc? What of the workers and customers - would they have been there to support you without contracts? So perhaps a professorial moment. It does not make a pretty soundbite though, obtuse as it is. It is funny that he was actually trying to dumb things down, and ended up providing fodder to the opposition instead. Some things just can't be broken down into simple terms.

What Obama actually said is - he slipped up and said what he believes, for a change. Government is everything, people are nothing. It makes sense when you consider that Obama is nothing. Never done anything, never built anything, never ran a business or met a payroll. He is a fictional creation of the media, a void. That's why he's the perfect totalitarian dictator.

Clinton brought us what the meaning of "is" is, and now Obama is bringing us what the meaning of "that" is.

When you have to redefine the meaning of everyday words, you've probably already lost on the issue at hand. Accept the loss, walk back the comment, and move on to the next issue.

Wipe that smile off your face, Paul. You have no clue. It was very clear what Obama meant, and I'm glad it's in the open now. I knew it four years ago.

Yeah, this is just spin. While I agree that it is possible to speculate that Obama meant "bridges and roads" by "that," it is anything but "obvious," for all the grammatical reasons cited, but also because of the entirety of the speech, in which Obama does reveal a sense that a larger, richer federal government is a necessary condition for Americans to enjoy success in their business endeavors large and small. Not just "a" government, but government of the size and powers Obama has been seeking since 2009.

This is a very debatable point, and is really the hinge of the election. Romney thinks business has been sluggish to bounce back in part because excessive government is in its way. Obama thinks business has been slow to bounce back because government is too small and not sufficiently funded by the rich. He sees business as an outgrowth of a strong government.

Romney is not saying "no government" as Obama in a kind of adolescent way implies. But he does want to pare it back, and Obama wants to grow it. That's the debate, and Obama has probably made the clearest and most deliberate presentation of his side of the debate with this speech.

I think, rather than trying to recast his words as something else, it's time to work up a defense of them. They are the essence of the man.

'Solyndra versus Staples.'

Over a half billion Taxpayer dollars down the drain vs. $Billions in Wealth Creating Self-Sustaining Jobs that'll last a lifetime.

Failure vs. Success. Give Obama a trophy so he feels good about himself and let someone who actually knows how to create jobs and wealth for all lead.

When you start rewarding losers and failures, you end up with Obama and total unemployment.

Though I believe Obama's ideology is revealed in his Roanoke speech, for the sake of discussion I will concede to view of his reference to "that".

People the world over for 200 plus years have viewed and continue to view America as an anomaly in the world; they want to visit America; they want to live in America; they want the liberty and opportunity America offers; they violate our borders to get here.

Question: Do they not have roads and bridges, infrastructure, in their homelands?

Say whatever you want, I know what I heard come out of the President's mouth. It really can't be explained away as a gaffe. Up till now I had been keeping an open mind about the election. His performance in VA has changed all of that. I am a self made man. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps with nobody's help. I put in the sweat to get my degree, not the State. Even then, I would do a semester's worth of work in a matter of days. I wound up tutoring others cause of all the spare time I had. I taught myself how to drive, swim and do it on my own. U may wonder why i even mention these mundane things. Cause it was my own motivation to do it. I did not have a great teacher or mentor to help me get where I wanted to go, I did that myself. Most of my Professors did not like me cause I challenged thrm on their beliefs and teaching methods. Enuff. Believe I'll go see what the Tea Party is all about. Seems like my values and their's are more aligned than the President's ideaology. I believe in the individual, the self reliant and independent person that can and do make it on their own. I have no doubt I'm gonna get ripped apart for my beliefs and take on the President's speech. So be it. No one can stop me from exercising my God given right to express myself at the ballot box. If the President was more like Bill Clinton, I would probaly vote for him, but not the current resident of the White House. Btw, I am an Independent voter, not some acolyte of either party. I do my own thinking.

Sure you did. Sure. Come on, even Ayn Rand accepted both Social Security and Medicare when she was old and sick with cancer. Unless you lived your entire life on a desert island you got help from others, both individuals and institutions. You're just to arrogant and full of yourself to admit it.

Not arrogant, just the opposite. My hard upbringing made me humble realizing what kind of effort was involved to get to were I wanted to be in life. I never had help from the Government till I became Disabled. At which point I collected on all the work quarters I put in and my Medicare. Those things I paid into. No one just gave them to me. I earned them by the sweat of my brow. Charity is fine for those who need it, I don't. I pay my way in the world with the accrued benefits that I have accumulated in my working life. No, no man is an island, true enuff. But that being said, it is still the individual that moves this country, not the Government or ideaology. It has always been the business world that leads us out of business cycles that were in a downturn, not the policies of Federal governemnt. Yes, they can provide assisstance, but not the spark. That is provided by individuals making their own decisions on how to proceed forward. The drive to succeed and excell has always been in the domain of the person who wishes to improve his condition. Unber Government control, most societies do not have people who invent products. Just look at the history of Statist regimes such as the old Soviet system and China very little in the way of innovation got accomplished there. Compare that to the spirit of a free people such as us Americans. We always beat them at that. Hands down. No amount of Progressive revisionist of history can change that. I lived thru that era, I know. I stand by what I wwrote earlier, I am a self made man and damn proud of it. Once upon a time, most men were. Unfortunately, that time seems to have past. Now, according to our President, if you succeed, you owe to everyone but yourself. A sad commentary on how far our values and Principles have fallen in modern times. I realize I am among the last of a dying breed. A man who is self made without the help of others. My Grandfather is the only one I credit with being who I am today. For he was the same way. He also taught me to be a Libertarian, a free thinker not beholden to any ideaology but freedom. Reason why I am an Independent voter. I owe my loyalty to no one but my conscience.

Oh please. Who built the schools you attended? Whose taxes paid for them? Did you really learn nothing from your teachers, but taught everything to yourself? In that case, why couldn't you have stayed home? And you admit that you accepted disability payments -- do you really think every penny of those payments came from your taxes and no one else's? Of course creativity has to come from the private sector, but it can't thrive without the infrastructure and the social stability that only government can provide. And the "once upon a time" that you reminisce about never existed. Detroit didn't become the center of the auto industry because Henry Ford, all by himself, thought of the assembly line. Creative things happen when a group of people get together in one place to work toward a common goal, maybe as competitors, maybe as colleagues. My husband spent his career as an engineer in the auto industry and I've often heard him say that a company without a large, thriving R&D department is doomed. You need a lot of people brainstorming, experimenting, refining one another's ideas, and building on each other's work. Have you ever seen a patent with just one person's name on it? Not for any really important new product, you didn't!

Creativity comes from group effort, even if that group has to include a lot of talented, imaginative individuals. That was true in 5th century Athens, 20th century Detroit and Silicon Valley, and contemporary China, which in case you hadn't noticed is kicking our butts. If you want to know what unfettered, totally individualistic free enterprise looks like, don't look at any period in American history, except maybe for the Gilded Age when the robber barons were dynamiting each other's railroads in the name of free competition. Go to Colombia and look at the narcolords. The government can't control them, and so they have for all practical purposes become the government. Ask the Colombian people how "free" that makes them.

I have tried reasoning with you and to no avail. You seem to have the same atitude as our President that somehow I owe the Governmet for my success, I don't in any way shape or form. I owe it to myslef and no. Cause I'm the one that took it upon myself to get self educated and make my way in the world. I was permanenty booted from public school in the 9th grade due to nonconformity. I found out the hard way that teachers and those in authority don't like to be challenged on their beliefs and teaching methods. So I bought books and educated myslef. Did well enuff to get my GED and go on to college. I graduated from there with a 3.9GPA. I've already stipulated what happened there in a prior post. I worked my way thru college so I would not have any student loans to repay. Grants I accepted, but not loans. The problem is that I am the product of Depression era Grandparents. I reflect the values and beliefs that they had. Most of which was formed during the Depression when they were very young adults. I'll reiterate that I am the among the last of a dying breed. I have 3 sons that I am teaching them the same thing. Cause of the dumbing down of our schools, I home school my kids. I want them to be knowledgable about the world and not beholden to any ideaology, especially Statist ideaology. I've given up on any further education in institutuions of higher learning due to prevalence of Liberal orthodoxy. If you don't conform to their ideaology, u get flunked nowadays. But I am severly digressing. lol Back to your point about things being done collectively. I will forever maintain that the individual and family are the backbone of this country and that individuals in paticular are responsible for most of the inventions in our country. I fear we may never agree on this difference between us. It is to fundamental. I have no doubt that you are much younger than me. Your style of writing and the way you say it indicates that, to me. My own experiences and upbringing are appearently vastly different than yours. By the way, the government is the servant of we the people, not the other way around. Roads and such were paid for with my taxes along with everyone's else. Since all that is paid for by individuals that argument does not wash with me. Even corps and businesses are individualistic in nature. I do not believe in the collective and never will. Life has taught me different. Now if I could just type I would be doing fine. lol Since we cannot agree on even the most basic tenets, this 'll be my last post. It's far easier to ignore and not associate with those who are adamant about having a society where they believe they owe their existence to a monolithic government entity. This difference is on display everyday in the media and all around our society. I sometimes wondder if it would be better if the countyr was not divided into two parts to accomodate those that want a Statist, Collectivist, Progressive, Liberal way of life and those that still believe in the Constitution and the individual. In the end it will not matter, it'll be the nonwhite minorities that'll be running this country. That in itself will be the undoing of this great nation. Is that a racist comment? Let me illuminate. THe browning of the world is inevitable, I know this. I follow the demographics. That is not bothers me, it's the value systems and beliefs I have trouble with. We will not remain a nation united much longer. Anti freedom forces are hard at work to Balkinize the USA. Our homogenity is gone. With it goes our national identity. Enuff. I'm done. No matter what I say, it'll be ridulculed by those that want to make serfs out of the rest of us. Good luck on your vision of what society should be and how you credit that success. Just remember this, there are more of us out there that think like I do at the moment. If you wait another 25-30 years, you'll get that thinking of yours into the mainstream of the American psyche. Once my kind pass on, you'll have a free hand. I'll check your reply but no more posts from me on this matter. Beating my head against the wall of ignorance can take a lot out of a guy. lol

Obama's comments DENY individual achievement! So, no human has ever actually climbed Mt Everest. His logic/ideology wouldn't allow that Edmund Hillary could have done it; "someone" else, God maybe, put that mountain there, put the snow and ice on it, wreaks the raw weather on it........yeah, Hillary didn't do that, and if he didn't another human probably couldn't so only God has ever climbed Everest.
The president is very spiritual.

Ask the Sherpas if Hillary did it alone. Funny how we seldom hear about their absolutely indispensable contributions to that expedition.

".........I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money." Barack Hussein Obama (His Holiness) , April 2010.

Why has it never been demanded of him what that "certain point" is? Has his buddy Warren Buffet who feels guilty about his secretary's taxes versus his own reached that "certain point". Bill Gates? What are Obama's qualifications, besides "I won", to make such a proclamation that limits my freedom. When you reach that "certain point" in income, say $500,000, does the government just confiscate any amount over that? How would that work?

When are we going to stop making excuses for this man who sees government, not the individual free to aspire to his dreams with his own efforts, as the core of America. He thinks government "first" and our purpose in society is to sustain government "first"!

Frank M.
If you read his speech in its entirety you will see that he starts talking about a great "system" of which roads and bridges are a part. Therefore "that" is appropriate. Hate does not allow one to be reasonable in their arguements when it means losing a chance to paint your enemy as different. No man is an island, no matter how you try to make it so. Without roads and bridges how would you sell your pizza--carryout or delivery both take roads.
The midddle class was built with people working as firemen, policemen, teachers, and construction workers. Romney and crew has been shedding these jobs (on purpose to keep unemployment high no matter how many private sector jobs are created) since day one of this administration. Despite the fact that President Obama has created 40% more rivate sector jobs in his 3.5 years than President Bush did in 7.5 years, shedding public service jobs will keep the unemployment number high. If republicans would take their thumb off the scale and stop caring only abot their party and put country first by providing a little help with public service jobs ( like all four previous presidents received, check the facts) unemployment would be much lower, the economy would rebound and Romney would have to run on his record (Bain and taxes included) and tell us specifically what he has to offer.

Individuals are who built this country, not the Government. Thanks to our unique Constitution, the creativity of man was unleashed by that freedom granting document. Unemcumbered by Statist ideaology. That came later with the writings of Karl Marx and Engels. Ever since, the Collectivists have tried to reign in the spirit of man by having absolute control over every aspect of their lives. The Progressives seem to be no different, I'm afraid. I'm not talking about Communism but all ideaology that impairs man's ability to freely express and exercise his judgement in his daily affairs. This President seems hell bent on bending the will of the people to his way of thinking. Even going after them if they make contributions to those he opposes. I saw this same play under Nixon back in the early 70's. One other thing, all those you quoted as being middle class are not the only people to be so. The one's you stated are mostly all affiliated with Unions. Unions make up only a very small percentage of what constitutes a middle class. The only reason that they are middle class is cause they fleece the public coffers at the exspense of the taxpayer, with the help of either incompetent or gullible politicians. Romney is never gonna be my first choice for President. But at least he will encourage economic growth over economic fairness. That in itself will get the country moving in the right direction again. Both parties are guilty of putting their ideaology ahead of what is best for the people and country, so that argument don't wash with me. We get worked over by both parties, atm. So voting for someone to be President is a choice of picking between the lesser of two evils, unfortunately. I would prefer a third party candidate so we at least have more options. A viable third party, not what we have had in the past 40 years that passes itself off as a third party from time to time.

Tom Genin--
How about Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances vs. the Auto Industry
Global-Tech came into existence solely to profit on outsourcing American jobs from companies like, “Sunbeam, Hamilton Beach, Mr. Coffee, Proctor-Silex, Revlon, and Vidal Sassoon, and its chief exec was hoping for more outsourcing from these and other American firms” (Corn, 2012). Romney has consistently built his campaign on lies—intentionally misleading the American people. He wants to take credit for Staples even after his retroactive retirement from Bain, but not for the outsourcing he claims happened after 1998. Well outsourcing under Romney started way before 1998, as evidenced by Corn, 2012). I have read of cases he was called out on publically as far back as 1994. In one specific case he even sent a fax to a victim who spoke out publically against him, blaming unions, stating he was sorry the union could not reach an agreement to prevent job loss. He also stated he was on a leave of absence during this entire period of time—sound familiar? Romney seems to conveniently be on leave of absence whenever he wants to avoid controversial events.
Conversely, the President saved countless American jobs in various industries by saving the auto industry. Romney said let Detroit go bankrupt! There is a fundamental difference in these two candidates. I admire people that make it on their own, and I strive to be like them, however not at the expense of community. It is simply greed to want to outsource to make as much as you can while turning your back on those trying to make it. I don’t want to live in a country where only the strong survive, especially when the strong are only the one percent.

Arrowood, E., Fitzsimmons, J, and Theel, S. (2012) Media fail to fact check Romney’s Solndra speech Accessed 7/20/12 from http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/06/01/media-fail-to-fact-check-romneys-solyndra-speec/185110

Corn, D., (2012) Exclusive: Romney invested millions in Chinese firm that profited on US outsourcing Accessed 7/20/2012 from http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/bain-capital-mitt-romney-outsourcing-china-global-tech

I knew I would find something to explain better than I have--
http://www.barackobama.com/truth-team/entry/fact-check-what-president-obama-actually-said-about-small-businesses

How many small businesses have counted on small business loans? So it takes a collaborative effort--the owners innovative ideas and sometimes some type of community support to lead to success.

Carl Sagan once said that "In order to make an apple pie from scratch you must first create the universe." Only people as childishly naive as American conservatives could believe otherwise.

How do you advance to the next page on this comment thread without posting a comment?

Pretty sad that Prospect has become a temp stenographer for the WH.

Romney & Bain invested in companies like Staples among others that expanded those businesses. They created more and more jobs all with PRIVATE money.

Obama gave TAX PAYER money to cronies like Kaiser from Solyndra that went belly up... But made sure to restructure the loan @ the last minute to make sure Kaiser got paid back first.

Does Prospect REALLY want to compare Mitt's investments with Obama's cronie capitalism?

REALLY?

This notion that it's possible to be a "self-made" businessman who does it all himself without any help from anyone (not even a corporate lawyer? Not even a professional accountant? Not even the system of American contract law that makes the existence of your business possible?) would be commendable in a four year old who has just learned to tie his shoes. In an adult, it's pathetic.

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