SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – With November and the presidential election approaching quickly, Obama and Romney have set their sights on the potential votes of small business owners and their employees. At a campaign event Friday, President Obama argued that successful businesses happened not only because of individual achievement, but because people utilized parts of the public system, such as teachers, the Internet, and roads and bridges. Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Romney’s response was to be insulted on behalf of small business owners everywhere. While agreeing that government-paid employees and infrastructure are needed, Romney said that those services were not responsible for the success of new business.
“The taxpayers pay for government,” Romney said . “It’s not like government just provides those to all of us and we say, ‘Oh thank you, Government, for doing those things.’ No, in fact we pay for them and we benefit from them and we appreciate the work that they do and the sacrifices that are done by people who work in government. But they did not build this business.”
A spokesman for the Obama reelection campaign responded to Romney’s comments saying, “As President Obama said the other day, those who start businesses succeed because of their individual initiative—their drive, hard work, and creativity. But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones. That means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation benefits from them. Apparently Mitt Romney disagrees.”
At a town hall meeting in Ohio on Wednesday, Romney continued his attempts to woo small businesses by arguing that Obama is so disinterested in job creation that he hasn’t met with his jobs council for six months.
“You know what he’s been doing over the last six months?” Romney asked in a crowded gymnasium at a community center here. “In the last six months he has held 100 fundraisers. And guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero in the last six months.”
When asked why the council hasn’t met in such a long time, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama “has obviously got a lot on his plate” but said he “solicits and receives input and advice from members of his Jobs Council and others about economic initiatives all the time.”