For those who would like to read the full quote:
“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, that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
The speech was awkward, I will give you that, but when Obama says “you didn’t build that” the President is referring to the infrastructure that makes the business environment possible in American. The President is talking about the infrastructure and security structure provided by government. Obama is not taking credit for the success of business. He was trying only to point out, I think fairly, that business relies on government to create an environment that is conducive to capital formation and that those who are successful in the US should be willing to pay more to support the environment. Try to start a Google or Ford Motor Company in Somalia or Nicaragua. If you disagree with the President’s policies, I get that, let’s debate those issues. I disagree with many of the President’s policies, but this wholesale attempt to twist the President’s words to prove some hidden socialist agenda is beneath our collective intelligence. If believing that allowing the top income rate to return to pre-Bush tax cut rates makes a person a Socialist, well then you need to pick up a history book once in a while.