DENVER Nicole Goolsby, 48, started her small business, the Cornelius, N.C.-based Rion Homes, 12 years ago after taking out a $15,000 loan on her credit card and setting up a desk in her bedroom.
She says she did not rely on the federal government for help reacting to recent comments by President Barack Obama that if youve got a business you didnt build that; somebody else made that happen.
President Obamas comments were an insult to the sweat and sacrifice that I have put into my business in an effort to build a better life for my children and my community, Goolsby said Wednesday a We Did Build This event sponsored the campaign for Obamas GOP opponent, Mitt Romney.
Believe me, she said. The government has not built my business nor is government even helping my business.
The Romney campaign held two We Did Build This events Wednesday in North Carolina at the Denver Construction Company during the afternoon and an earlier gathering at Snoopys Hot Dogs in Raleigh. At the Denver event, four small business owners shared their experiences in building their companies and explained why they think Romney is a better candidate.
Ken Tucker, 47, owner of Denver Construction Co., said he had to borrow money against his home mortgage to make payroll. He said his tax dollars help pay for the roads that he and other small business owners use.
Were paying property taxes, fuel taxes, Tucker said. How much more taxes do you want us to pay? I had forty-something employees, now I have twenty-three.
There were two dozen events around the country Wednesday touting the We Did Build This theme, according to Robert Reid, the North Carolina spokesman for Romneys campaign. The tumult over Obamas comments on small-business success shows no sign of fading, and the president is pushing back hard with new ads scheduled to run in North Carolina and other battleground states to counter Romneys claims.
What the president said
In a Virginia rally earlier this month, Obama spoke about governments supportive role in providing a stable environment in which businesses can thrive.
Look, the president said, if youve been successful, you didnt get there on your own. Let me tell you something: There are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.
Since then, Obama says the you didnt build that phrase was taken out of context. But the Romney campaign maintains it shows the president is out of touch with the contributions of small businesses.
Everyone has access to roads and bridges. What allowed these businesses to succeed is their risk taking, their sacrifices, their innovation, said Reid, the state Romney campaign spokesman. They should be patted on the back not demonized for it.
In an email to an Observer reporter, Jamie Crain, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, called the We Did Build This campaign events Wednesday a desperate attempt to change the topic from his failing record as Governor of Massachusetts, his business experience outsourcing American jobs overseas and his continued refusal to be transparent with voters and release his tax returns. If Mitt Romney applied Romney Economics to the nation like he did in Massachusetts, it would hurt North Carolinas small businesses and stifle their growth.
Earlier this month, the Obama campaign held an event in Charlotte touting small businesses.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, North Carolinas 786,759 small businesses represent 98 percent of all employers in the state. The Associated Press contributed to this article.