Meet The Press Gives The “You Didn't Build That” Distortion One Last Ride

During a video retrospective of the presidential campaign, Meet the Press played a deceptively edited version of President Obama's “you didn't build that” line and followed it up with a clip of Mitt Romney claiming that the full context of Obama's remarks are worse than the quote.

Meet the Press made no effort to clarify that this is an obvious distortion of what Obama actually said: that the individual initiative required for success in business is aided by American education and infrastructure.

Host David Gregory described the retrospective as showing “what stood out for us” during the campaign. The montage began with a clip of Obama's July 13 speech in Roanoke, Virginia, in which he says, “If you've got a business, that -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen” :

The context of Obama's remarks make it clear that showing only those few words leaves an entirely misleading impression of what he was saying:

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.

The edited video of the Roanoke speech was used throughout the summer by conservatives, with the clip receiving heavy play on Fox News, despite the fact that journalists and fact checkers labeled it as deceptive.