President Obama on Friday, referring to large-scale infrastructure investments like the Internet and highways, said: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Now conservatives are angry, and the line has taken on new life in the campaign. But that wasn’t because Mitt Romney’s opposition research shop first seized on the president’s remarks. It first appeared on right-wing blogs and then bubbled up through traditional media. And Fox News got ahold of it. On July 16 and July 17, Fox News dedicated more than two hours over the course of 42 segments to the “you didn’t build that” canard, according to the left-leaning watchdog Media Matters.
“Two prime-time shows, Hannity and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, devoted a total of more than 15 minutes to the story on July 17,” Media Matters wrote in its analysis. “The O’Reilly Factor similarly devoted more than 14 minutes.”
Romney on Tuesday, after week’s worth of attacks over his tenure at Bain Capital, addressed Obama’s remarks head on, accusing the president of “attacking success.” Later Tuesday evening, after Romney’s speech, his campaign sent a fundraising plea. Obama’s remarks, campaign manager Matt Rhoades wrote, are a “slap in the face to the American Dream.”
What, exactly, did the Fox News blitz look like? TPM’s video editor Michael Lester put together the clip below:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com