WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday said President Barack Obama's controversial statement about government's role in business creation is "an affront to all those who have taken chances" to build a business.
In a July 13 speech in Roanoke, Va., Obama started a controversy and gave soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney a campaign talking point by saying: "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Isakson did not hold back.
"As someone who ran a small business, I was astounded, disappointed and perplexed by the president's statement last week that small business didn't owe its success to itself but owed it to the government," Isakson said. "It's the other way around. The government would not exist without the taxpayers of the United States of America, including small businesses. Their tax dollars fund the construction of roads, bridges and infrastructure."
Isakson spent more than three decades in the private sector, beginning his business career in 1967 when he opened the first Cobb County, Ga., office of a small, family-owned real estate business, Northside Realty. Isakson later served as president of Northside for 20 years, presiding over the company's growth into the largest independent residential real estate brokerage company in the Southeast and one of the largest in America.
An Obama campaign spokesman said Tuesday the president respects the effort it takes to build a business.
"As President Obama said, those who start businesses succeed because of their individual initiative -- their drive, hard work, and creativity," spokesman Ben Labolt said in a statement to Fox News. "But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones -- that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation as a whole benefits from them."
(Atlanta Business Chronicle)