As both summer and election temperatures rise, some of the people who appear in Republican campaign advertisements are learning that the liberal media will turn up the heat by investigating their claims in an effort to help Barack Obama in November.
One of the people featured in a web and television ad for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is Jack Gilchrist, a New Hampshire businessman who states that he, his father and his son -- not the government or the President -- built Gilchrist Metal Fabricating.
The commercial was intended to respond to a remark made by the President in Roanoke, Virginia, on July 13, when he stated: “If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Gilchrist began the campaign ad by asking:
My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? My son's hands aren't building this company? Did somebody else take out the loan on my father's house to finance the equipment? Did somebody else make payroll every week or figure out where it's coming from?
President Obama, you're killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?
However, John DiStaso, senior political reporter for the New Hampshire Union-Leader, decided to check out Gilchrist's claims from the commercial and learned that he “did receive some government help for his business, albeit a long time ago.”
“In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high-definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a Union-Leader report at the time.
Also, Gilchrist Metal received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 last year and a $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, the reporter added.
Nevertheless, Gilchrist said on Monday that his message has not been “compromised” by the fact that he received the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds made possible by the federal government. He said the legal fees totaled about $12,000, wiping out any financial advantage he gained as a result of the lower interest rate.
“It was a loser, and I wish I had never done it,” he stated. “I bought some equipment with it.”
Gilchrist also said his company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000 in the late 1980s, and he noted that the business has also received matching funds from the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, which is federally funded.
“It's a small piece,” he said while noting that about ten percent of his company's contracts are defense-related, “but we do business with a plethora of industries, and certainly defense is one of them.”
“I'm not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government,” he added. “As far as I'm concerned, I'm getting some of my tax money back.”
“So, no,” stated Gilchrist, “I don't feel as though I've compromised anything or misled anybody.”
In addition, Romney called Obama's original comments “insulting to private business people.”
“President Obama has demonstrated that he doesn't understand how the economy works and that he doesn't believe in our free market system,” said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.
“The President has denigrated business owners by telling them that they 'didn't build' their own successful companies, arrogantly dismissed the challenges facing our economy by saying the private sector is 'doing fine,' and promoted disastrous policies that have killed jobs,” he stated.
On the other side of the political aisle, Obama spokesman Lis Smith accused Romney of taking the President's words “completely out of context.”
Mitt Romney's attacks may be unfair, but his events and own actions actually prove the President's point that while businesses are built through hard work and initiative, we're all in this together.
Meanwhile, John Nolte of Breitbart.com asked: “Is this really a priority at the Union-Leader -- digging into the personal lives of private citizens who step forward to let their voice be heard?”
“I'm not saying private citizens are completely off-limits, either,” he continued. “If Jack Gilchrist was caught lying, that's worth reporting. But Gilchrist didn't lie, nor was he in the least hypocritical, which is what the Union-Leader is obviously implying.”
To say the President screwed up by telling the truth about what he believes is an understatement, and this is why the Union-Leader is attacking Gilchrist, implying he's a hypocrite, and worse, trying to make a case that what Obama said is true.
“So here the media goes again,” Nolte added, “but this time below the radar trying to change the subject and in the process not only targeting a private citizen, but sending the message to private citizens everywhere that there's a price to pay for coming out publicly against Obama.”