This is the first of those ads, featuring Jack Gilchrist and the Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Company:
Mr. Gilchrist is very upset because he feels that he and his father "With hard work and a little bit of luck we built this business." Which is true. But the half million dollar loan from the US Small Business Administration in the 80s probably helped as did the $800,000 tax exempt bond from the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority to build a second plant. Also the military construction contracts.
So okay, the flagship ad in this series about how the government never helps businesses happens to star a businessman who is a government contractor whose business was started with a government loan and expanded with a government bond. While that certainly contradicts the entire point that Romney is trying to make, I'm sure the next ad will do a much better job. Meet Dennis Sollmann of the Sollmann Electric Company:
Mr. Sollmann is very upset about President Obama's (heavily edited) remarks, "He was trying to say 'hey, you didn't build that business on your own, the government helped you build it.' And that's what ticked me off more than anything." So it should surprise exactly no one that the Sollmann Electric Company is a government contractor with millions of dollars in contracts from local school districts.
Surely though, Melissa Ball of Ball Office Products will break this trend for Romney:
To start, Ms. Ball's assertion that the guys she makes drive trucks in triple digit heat for 14 hours a day built the company as much as she did is a little off message (it's almost as if labor is as, if not more important than, management). Sounds pretty socialist to me, but that's not really what we're here for. Nope that'd be the fact that Ball Office Products is the exclusive provider of office products to the Virginia Commonwealth University and the General Services Administration. Now I have no problem with government contractors, but if you're trying to make the argument that businesses don't need government at all, using businesses that regularly cash checks from the government is about the stupidest thing you can do.
Which is why I'm going to stop here. As far as I can tell Romney's made at least two more of these "These Hands" ads and I'm sure that some time spent on google would uncover that those businesses too benefitted from the existence of government. Because as Obama said, it's simply a fact that all businesses benefit from operating in a civil society with roads, bridges, electricity, and education. All these ads really do is show that Romney's campaign is terrible if the first three businesses they picked to refute reality not only benefit in those intangible ways, but literally rely on the government for their bottom line.
So three strikes and I'm out (at least until they mess up hilariously again).