WASHINGTON - President Obama says that if you start a successful business that creates lots of jobs, you didn't make it happen -- "somebody else made that happen."
Obama's thoughtless, insensitive, ideologically-driven remark must have come as a shock to many hard-working, enterprising, risk- taking Americans who have started new businesses, often under intensely competitive, even brutal circumstances, and survived.
These are very ambitious people who have dreamed of building a business of their own and becoming employers whose success creates payrolls, strengthens communities and fuels prosperous economies.
Many do not make it. Millions fail in their first try, but try again and again, and enough have succeeded to make the United States the largest, most productive economy in the history of the world.
Why would Obama make such a fallacious claim in the midst of a presidential campaign in which he is struggling to convince dispirited and disappointed Americans to give him four years more in office?
Because he has failed to propose and enact the kind of pro- growth, pro-investment, pro-jobs policies desperately needed to get our economy growing again at full throttle and put tens of millions of unemployed Americans back to work.
When Obama made his rather outrageous remark in a campaign speech last week, it received little if any serious news media attention. It should have been the lead story on the nightly news. It should have made headlines. It did not.
Here's what he said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
His Republican rival, former governor Mitt Romney, who founded one of the most successful business investment enterprises in the country, creating thousands of jobs in the process, said Obama sounded anti-entrepreneur.
"It shows how out of touch he is with the character of America," Romney told a campaign rally in Bowling Green, Ohio. "This idea of criticizing and attacking success, of demonizing those in all walks of life who have been successful, is something that is so foreign to us that we can't understand it."
Apparently, many people who heard or read Obama's remark couldn't understand it, either, because this week the president had to explain what he meant by his remark -- something he's had to do many times before.
Actually, what he says he really meant can be found in the fuller context that followed his "Somebody else made that happen" remark.