by Jeff Pohjola & Jeff Phillips
The Doc Hastings campaign has been running a radio ad which plays a qoute of President Obama:
NARRATOR: Listen to President Obama talk about business owners...
PRESIDENT OBAMA: If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
NARRATOR: It's an astounding statement from President Obama and it reveals everything about his philiosophy. He believes in the power of government over the American people.
The problem is that the quote omits what the President said before and after that five-second sound bite. Here is the quote from Mr. Obama's July 13th speech in surrounding context:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "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.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."
When presented in context, it is clear that the President was referring to the "roads and bridges" in his previous sentence. To say that the President was talking about the businesses that their owners built is to take the statement out of context. Moreover, the President clearly stated that his point was that "no one gets there on their own."
The Mitt Romney campaign has done the same thing with some of their ads. Here's an AP report about the Romney Campaign's use of the sound bite:
Clearly, the President's remarks have been taken out of context. And both the Romney and Hastings campaigns are guilty of this.
In an interview with 610 KONA, Congressman Hastings defended use of clip from the President's speech in his ad, saying that he believes it accurately reflects the President's beliefs on business.
We label the Hastings ad a HALF-TRUTH.