Nobody in America works harder than business owners, according to remarks Tuesday by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan.
“And when he [President Obama] says, if you have a small business you didn’t build that. Look, all we mean is that nobody else gets up at 5:00 a.m. and opens the doors,” Ryan said during a rally yesterday in Clinton, Iowa.
“Nobody else works seven days a week,” he added. “Nobody else takes the risks. Nobody else meets payroll. Nobody else goes to the bank. These are businesses that are built by the sweat, toil, and hard work of workers in this country, of businesses in this country, and that’s what makes this country grow.” (h/t ThinkProgress)
Ryan’s remarks are the latest move in the Romney campaign’s push to paint itself as the champion of small business owners.
In particular, Republicans have latched on to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark, repeatedly offering it up as evidence that the president doesn’t understand the challenges facing small business owners.
The president made that remark in July in Virginia. He said: "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help." He continued, "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."
Republicans have used those last two sentences to paint Obama as anti-business.
At the Republican National Convention in August, during its “We Built It”-themed night, the GOP heaped praise on America’s entrepreneurs and trotted out numerous business owners who slammed the Obama administration’s policies.
The president has since said he regrets the syntax he used in that speech--but stands by his statement, an attempt to laud the nation's infrastructure (highways, bridges, etc.)
The Romney/Ryan campaign for the hearts of small business owners doesn't seem to be having a huge impact so far. A recent survey of 6,000 small business owners suggests that Republicans’ attempts to court Main Street isn’t really doing the trick. According to the poll released by George Washington University and Thumbtack.com, an Internet marketplace for local services, nearly half of business owners (47 percent) plan to vote for Obama, compared to 39 percent who plan to vote for Romney.