Star of Romney ‘My Hands Didn’t Build This’ Ad Received Millions in Government Loans and Contracts

Jul 23, 2012 4:19pm

The Romney campaign has been making much out of an out-of-context President Obama quote.

Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13 about the necessity of government for services such as infrastructure, the president said “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…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.”

Listen to it for yourself: the remarks in question were roughly 33 minutes and 40 seconds into the speech:

The Romney campaign, has suggested that the president was telling business owners that they didn’t create their own business, taking the “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that” remark out of context.

In a campaign ad, the Romney campaign spliced out the “roads and bridges” the president seemed to be referring to as “that” when he said “you didn’t build that.”

In a new TV ad, Romney features an offended New Hampshire businessman, saying, “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?”

The New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, 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’…” In addition, in 2011, Gilchrist Metal “received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008…”

Get more pure politics at ABC News.com/Politics and a lighter take on the news at OTUSNews.com

The businessman, Jack Gilchrist, also acknowledged that in the 1980s the company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000, and matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.

“I’m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government,” Gilchrest said. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting some of my tax money back. I’m not stupid, I’m not going to say ‘no.’ Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available.”

-Jake Tapper

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