Virginia bakery owner turns down Biden visit over 'you didn't build that'
Published August 16, 2012 FoxNews.com
The owner of a Virginia bakery gave Vice President Biden's advance team an answer they probably don't hear too often: No.
Chris McMurray, owner of "Crumb and Get It" bakery in southwestern Virginia, reportedly refused to let Biden stop by his store Wednesday because of concerns he had about President Obama's "you didn't build that" remark. The president made the controversial comment last month in Roanoke, Va., just miles from McMurray's bakery.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime, but essentially I said, 'No offense to you or the campaign but I just decline you guys coming in here,'" McMurray told WDBJ7.
He said the Biden staffer asked if he was sure, since there would be lots of press and activity. Biden was wrapping up a tour of southern Virginia Wednesday.
But McMurray reportedly said he objected to the "you didn't build that" line.
"Speaking of small businesses and entrepreneurs all across this country, and actually last night my wife was up all night. No sleep, she's worked a full 24 hours," he said.
He and his wife Kelly run the shop.
Obama said "you didn't build that" in the course of discussing government investments -- like roads -- that have helped business owners thrive.
Democrats have suggested the president was merely saying small businesses didn't build that infrastructure, but Republicans and some local business owners interpreted it as questioning American entrepreneur's contribution to their own businesses.
AND NOW IN DAVENPORT IOWA...ANOTHER PRIVATE BUSINESS PERSON MAKES A STATEMENT!
Iowa deli co-owner caters for Obama visit, but his T-shirt tells another story
By Amy Gardner, Published: August 15The Washington Post DAVENPORT, Iowa —
Ross Murty likes business, but he doesn’t like President Obama. And so the co-owner of the Village Corner Deli here agreed to cater Obama’s visit Wednesday — but not before donning a T-shirt blaring the message: “Government didn’t build my business. I did.”
It was a reference to a remark Obama made several weeks ago that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has seized upon to portray Obama as anti-business. Obama, referring to the help government provides to businesses by building roads and providing education and other services, said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that."
“No one from the government was there when we were sweating it, when we were building this business,” Murty said. Before him was a bank of chafing dishes filled with smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, vegetable parmesan bake and cheesy hash brown casserole provided to the White House press corps covering the president’s three-day swing across Iowa this week.
Murty, 45, a registered Republican, didn’t really have a choice with the catering job. His partner, Bret Dalton (a registered Democrat), accepted the work on Saturday while Murty was away in Chicago watching a Cubs game. Dalton volunteered for Vice President Biden’s presidential campaign in 1988, when he was a student at Iowa State University.
But that’s not why he got the contract.
“One of Obama’s lead people came into the deli Saturday morning,” Dalton said. “I didn’t even know it was for Obama until that night.”
When he found out, though, Dalton had some fun. He called up Murty, who was driving back from Chicago, and asked: “Guess who’s coming to town this week?”
“He was a little stunned,” Dalton recalled. But the two take their political disagreements in stride, and the conversation was all in good fun, both said.
“I would never say no to anybody for any reason,” Murty said. “My partner and I have different views in politics, but business is business.”
The White House performs background checks on contractors for security reasons, but it does not vet them for their political views. Also, the caterers are hired to provide food for the White House press corps, which pays for the food, even though the White House makes the arrangements.
The Obama campaign had no comment on Murty's T-shirt.
But the Romney campaign seized on the moment, circulating pictures that reporters had tweeted of Murty with his controversial T-shirt. “Mr. President, please stay another day!” the Romney campaign e-mail said.