Recent letters to The Pantagraph have criticized President Obama’s speech on July 13. Unfortunately, the letter writers start with crucially incomplete, and therefore incorrect, claimed quotes from that speech.
The entire speech must be read for a complete understanding, but space limit permits me to quote only the part (The New Yorker) that is most relevant: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. ... 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, that — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Dan Bleck (Remarks offensive to business owners, Aug. 4) stated President Obama said: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
Note that Mr. Bleck did not quote President Obama’s sentence immediately preceding “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”: “Somebody invested in roads and bridges.” It is obvious that this infrastructure is the “that” President Obama is saying “you didn’t build.” Mr. Bleck’s omission of this key sentence on infrastructure is dishonest.
Scott A. Swope (Obama’s remarks should anger all Americans, Aug. 7) claims President Obama said: “If you’ve got a business — you did not build that. Somebody else made that happen. ...” Again, omission of Obama’s infrastructure quote is dishonest.
Apparently, only by misquoting President Obama did these two men have something to criticize.