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    Barack Obama said small-business owners didn’t build their own businesses


    Obama said small businesses succeed in part because of infrastructure and education

    This claim is a distortion of a speech that Obama made during a campaign event in July 2012. While Obama was discussing how Americans succeed in business, he made the point that the individual initiative required for success is aided by American education and infrastructure:

    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.

    But the phrase “you didn’t build that” was seized on and taken out of context to twist the meaning of his broader statement. Independent fact-checkers from The Washington Post,,, and the Associated Press agreed that this was a mischaracterization of what Obama said.