When President Obama visited Colorado for a speech at a Denver high school in September, CNN interviewed Gov. John Hickenlooper, and asked him about Obama’s chances for re-election in Colorado.
“There’s certainly a lot of discouragement with the economy, and some of that rubs off on the President, but I think some of those (poll) numbers we based on a couple of weeks ago, we’ll have to see. What people really want is some solutions, some effort, and they want less red tape, they want to free up some money in small businesses, they want a more entrepreneurial approach to the economy. That’s all the stuff that President Obama was talking about today.”
CNN interviewed the Democratic governor again amid the National Governor’s Association meeting last week in Williamsburg, Va. Hickenlooper defended the President on a number of levels. Hickenlooper, a former brewpub owner, also repeated his own devotion to entrepreneurship:
“I think what really creates wealth in this country, the major part of our wealth creation, comes from entrepreneurs, people starting businesses. That’s my preference because I lived part of that life. If you really squint your eyes and look at job creation, entrepreneurs create businesses, create jobs. They are always creating something.”
Apparently, the President doesn’t get that memo.
Here were the President’s comments deriding the efforts of individual businessmen and businesswomen Friday night at a rally in Roanoke, Va.:
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.
“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.”
Pres. Obama has come in for some heavy criticism for these comments. The lecturing tone in which they were delivered suggests impatience with those who believe in individual achievements. Fortunately, most Americans don’t share Obama’s view of how business success is earned.
And, unfortunately for his supporters and surrogates, it’s getting harder to pretend that his contempt for success doesn’t exist.