On CBS Evening News tonight, reporter Nancy Cordes did a segment on false campaign ads and started with a recent Obama ad that got a Politifact “pants on fire” rating for saying that Romney supported a bill that backed abortion even for rape and incest. Turns out that simply isn’t true.
Knowing what was coming, I couldn’t wait to see which ad by the Romney campaign Cordes was going to call “false”. Of course she pulled the ad where Romney went after Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comments, but she didn’t need to go to Politifact to get the “truth” as she did with the Obama ad. No, she just took it straight from Obama’s lips and said Romney took his words out of context. Cordes alleged that Obama’s comments were about government’s role in infrastructure but that Romney tried to make it sound like Obama belittled the private sector, and to prove that she played a slightly larger section of Obama’s comments:
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.
Cordes selectively pulled just a little more context to make the infrastructure argument but completely ignored the larger context that even led to this rant, which was that the so-called rich need to pay higher taxes, or their “fair share” as Obama states it:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, 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. …
And it wasn’t so much that Obama belittled the entire “private sector” as Cordes alleged, but rather that he belittled individual effort and success of successful people and emphasized the the role of government in their success to make his “fair share” argument that the rich need to pay more taxes:
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. 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.
Or stated another way, successful people got the “helping hand” of government somewhere in their lives which led to their success and because of that they need to pay higher taxes to ensure other people get the same “helping hand”. Either way it’s stated, it’s a false premise that completely ignores the fact that the private sector, in the form of taxes, pays for EVERYTHING the government does. EVERYTHING!
So yes, Romney’s ad suggesting that Obama is belittling success is very much correct and CBS News gets it very wrong. Perhaps Nancy Cordes should do a little more research (i.e. read the entire speech or something) instead of using the Obama campaign as their primary source before falsely alleging Romney is wrong.