Obama-Romney business battle comes to Tampa

8:09 AM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- An Obama-Romney battle over business comes to Tampa on Wednesday morning, spurred on by an out-of-context quote.

The campaign for Governor Mitt Romney is gathering a group of small business owners at 11 a.m. in Tampa's West Shore Business District.

The campaign says it's planning to talk about "the importance of policies that get government out of the way so the private sector can flourish."

"Yes, Mr. President -- we built this business" is the name that's been put on this press conference by the Romney campaign.

That plays off a line taken from a speech by President Barack Obama earlier this month.

Here's the quote Romney's campaign is basing its rally on -- it sounds at first like President Obama is dismissing what business owners do:

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

It's our job to put things in context, and when we do, it's clear he was talking about something else. Here's what Obama said just before and after that line that was lifted out of his speech:

"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," Obama said.

So, in the speech, the "that" business owners didn't create is infrastructure -- roads, the education system, the Internet, and so on.

Now, clearly, these two men have different views on the role the government should play in helping rebuild the economy. But it's easier to talk about those real issues when we're not talking about quotes taken out of context.

In the interest of providing some information of value, here's a look at where the two candidates stand on this issue.

President Obama said in different part of that same speech, "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Gov. Romney, on the other hand, frequently calls for creating climate of what he calls "economic freedom" -- arguing for less regulation and less government intervention in the business world.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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