The Romney camp has been making a lot of noise about an Obama campaign speech in which the President pointed out that those who succeed in this country get help from different sources.
Taking a deceptive view of the President’s speech (i.e. claiming that Obama said that business owners do not in fact create their businesses), the Romney camp is claiming that Obama insults business owners by claiming that they are unable to function without the help of the supposedly intrusive federal government.
The Romney camp is even pushing an ad starring a man, Jack Gilchrist, who supposedly built his business on his own.
According to Think Progress:
In “These Hands,” the Romney campaign repeated the out-of-context quote, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else did that.” Jack Gilchrist, the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, New Hampshire, incredulously asks, “My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company? …Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”
You can see the ad here.
And you will also notice something else about it.
The ad is tanking. Badly.
Currently, the dislikes of this ad outnumber the likes by almost over 300.
UPDATE – The dislikes of the ad are now over 1,000 while the likes are slightly over 350.
The rush to dislike this ad may have to do with the recent discovery that Gilchrist actually did benefit from the federal government.
Again according to Think Progress:
The New Hampshire Union Leader reports . . . that Gilchrist benefited from millions of dollars of government loans and contracts to get his business on its feet:
In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority “to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time…
Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending.
Gilchrist wisely took advantage of these funds, which help small businesses like his survive in their early years. He also took a U.S. Small Business Administration loan in the late 1980s totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000, plus matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
The comments on the ad’s page go back and forth from folks accusing the Romney campaign of lying to others claiming that Obama supporters are deliberately sinking the ad (note – I clicked dislike on the ad and posted it on my facebook page).
However, one thing is clear. If Romney was intending to use Gilchrist as an example of how inaccurate Obama was in his assertion of how the federal government helps businesses, then he failed miserably.
I think for now it’s safe to assume that in the case of this ad, Romney’s distortion of Obama’s speech is backfiring.