By now Barack Obama’s July 13th Roanoke speech is infamous. The “you didn’t build that” line was the intellectual equivalent of Barack Obama lifting an Olympic bar loaded with 300 lbs. of weights over his head and then dropping it just to see what would happen to his neck.
Mitt Romney used the line to inflict blunt force trauma over the past few weeks and was accused of taking it out of context (which is usually political-speak for admitting you gaffed big time). So what did conservatives do? They created a bunker-buster of a campaign ad — with full context — just to prove to the world that President Obama fundamentally misunderstands how the economy works.
This ad is punishing. It is a left hook to President Obama’s jaw that should be thrown over and over and over again until election day because it is true. Obama took a simple truth — we’ve all had help from kind souls along the way to achieve our successes — but then he warped it into a weird paean to top-down policy making, whereas the government is the root cause for all that is just and right and good in the world.
Even worse is the condescending way in which he delivers the message:
I’m always struck by people who think, “wow, 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 anybody else.” Let me tell you something: There are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there.”
Yes, President Obama — and I’m one of them. And my friends and family are, too. I spent three years as an infantryman. After getting out I often worked full time jobs while putting myself through school.
Now let me tell you something, President Obama: I worked night shifts stocking shelves. I took unpaid internships that I worked at for eight hours each day so I could then run to the train station and pull a closing shift at another job. I mopped up sweat, and worse, in gyms. I took chances — an internship over a full time job — to possibly get my foot in the door at an influential think tank. Years later I left that job and took another huge gamble (and a pay cut) to get my foot in the door at The Washington Times. I sacrificed friendships and fun and money and an assortment of other things to get where I am today, and the notion that I should be thankful to the federal government for roads (if we suspend disbelief and agree that’s what he was talking about) is downright insulting.
When I think of all the days where I’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn and didn’t get home until long after the sun went down … when I think of the weekends I’ve had to give up to work or the “grin and bear it” days and weeks and months … to then hear President Obama belittle my efforts or insinuate that I should somehow be forced to fork over cash to the federal government as alms for my success — it irritates me. And it should anger anyone else who works until their hands are callused or their neck stiffens or they feel like their head is going to explode from the stress of it all.
I know that there are smarter people out there. I know that there are more talented people. But I will not be outworked. There is no excuse for being outworked. And that is the message that I have never heard Barack Obama deliver. Ever.
The case against President Obama should be a slam dunk. There is no reason why Mitt Romney should lose this election, and if he does he’ll have no one to blame but himself. John McCain pulled his punches and like a fool he got his clocked cleaned. Let’s just hope Mitt Romney doesn’t follow his example.