Eau Claire area small business owners react to Obama's 'You didn't build that' comment

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

ALTOONA, Wisc. (WEAU) - Republicans are on a statewide tour in Wisconsin, to rally small business owners and gain support against a remark President Obama made in Virginia earlier this month.

"If you've got a business, you didn't build that, someone else made it happen," Obama said.

"It was quite a big pill that should not have been swallowed by anybody that has a business," Penny Crochiere, owner of Pilates by Penny in Eau Claire said.

Republicans gathered in Altoona Friday to voice their disgust with President Obama.

"I thought it was unconscionable," State Senator Terry Moulton said. "He obviously ... doesn't understand what small business owners go through to create and start a business venture."

The Republican Moulton, who owns tackle and archery shops says obama showed he doesn't recognize the value of small businesses.

But not all owners agreed. Chippewa Valley Cremation Services owner Matt Thompson said the quote was taken out of context, and the Republican response is a ploy.

"No matter how big or small your business is, there are always people that help you get to where you're at. I couldn't site one example where that isn't the case," Thompson, who identifies as an Independent, said.

"If you read the full context, it's even more scary to me," Moulton said.

Here's more of what Obama said: "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," Obama said.

"He's mocking us," Mike Conlin, part owner of Dynamic Displays of Eau Claire said. I don't deny that I got help, but I thought he was being extremely dismissive in his whole speech."


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  • by Typical Location: Ec on Jul 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
    Typical comment from the chief moron and even more typical comments from the even bigger morons who support this laughable clown. Pathetic sheoples and nothing more.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2012 at 02:21 PM in reply to Typical
      Aren't you glad you live in a country that you are free to spew such hatred?
      • reply
        by Typical on Jul 29, 2012 at 04:59 PM in reply to
        Even more so, I am happy to be able to tell the truth. This incapable dolt is an entire embarrassment to anyone who works for a living and to this country. Just goes to show how many freeloaders there are because he has a ton of weak and sad sacks supporting him.
        • reply
          by anon2 on Jul 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM in reply to Typical
          Obama will do and say anything to increase the number of people dependent on the government for "assistance". The logic behind it being that will translate to votes. With close to 50% of the country already dependent, it will not come down to who is R or D. It will come down to entitlement recipients or entitlement funders. We are at a dangerous tipping point.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2012 at 05:32 AM in reply to Typical
          Two paragraphs of name calling of both the president and his supporters? Anyone should listen to you why?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2012 at 05:48 AM in reply to Typical
          If you are going to claim truth speak then you have to let the generalizations go.
      • reply
        by anon2 on Jul 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM in reply to
        Is that all you got? Why not the race card too? Those are the only rebuttals Obama supporters seem to have.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2012 at 05:23 AM in reply to anon2
          You actually attack the free country line? WOW
  • by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2012 at 08:32 AM
    Obama is right! No matter what somebody says there is always going to be people to throw a fit and take it the wrong way. My guess its the same people throwing a fit about walker.
  • by Anonymous Location: Biz Owner on Jul 29, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    When I started my small business I did get help. Through loans from banks that are federally insured. The roads leading to my business and that I drive on daily are maintained by the government. I put a lot of sweat into my business but as a country our success depends on the success of those around us as well. I didn't vote for Obama but this quote makes sense to me.
    • reply
      by you OWE me on Jul 29, 2012 at 07:50 AM in reply to
      I voted for the Community Organizer, but I don't agree with his government-centered worldview.
  • by Anon Location: Ec on Jul 29, 2012 at 06:31 AM
    I agree with the comment that shames the press for spinning this comment so out of context. Some people are just so against Obama that they will believe anything negative.
  • by Anon on Jul 29, 2012 at 06:17 AM
    The only people who would get mad about that comment are those who are uneducated. Obviously they know nothing about sociology, or they would understand what he said, and there would be no animosity. Society, and one's place within, are responsible for the choices that we are given. We cannot do anything that society does not afford us the opportunity to do. So yes, Obama was right.
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jul 29, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    Actually we should be offended at the press and at the way the press is being used. The latest trend is little snippets of a sentence to distort what someone actually said. We should be demanding proper reporting from our news mediums.
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jul 29, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    Actually we should be offended at the press and at the way the press is being used. The latest trend is little snippets of a sentence to distort what someone actually said. We should be demanding proper reporting from our news mediums.
  • by Wisconsin resident on Jul 29, 2012 at 04:09 AM
    I am highly offended by the pres of the US making such demeaning remarks about the people who take giant risks to better themselves and our country.I heard the entire speech...I have no doubt he meant to say what he said and I'm disgusted with him.
  • by jj Location: ec on Jul 29, 2012 at 02:02 AM
    Gosh.. there are so many dumb people on here.. yes. I said it.. dumb, not smart people. Unless someone is already a millionaire.. (and even then.. still got help) they received help in getting loans, word of mouth, customers, education, .. what he was saying is nobody went through life alone and not getting help at all to make them the person they are today.. they may have worked for it.. or had it given to them by daddy.. (Mitt) but everyone got help. Kinda stupid for the 3 businesses to be against the president's statement.. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I would much rather go to businesses that were thankful for the help they received along the way and not thinking about me, me, me.
  • by Another Anonymous on Jul 28, 2012 at 08:43 PM
    It seems to me that as good as Obama is with words & speeches (or at least thinks he is) that he would have worded this speech better so that there wouldn't have been this confusion as to what he meant. Unless, of course, he intended to start a controversy........
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 29, 2012 at 05:46 AM in reply to Another Anonymous
      I had no problem understanding it.
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