Georgia lumberyard owner hammers Obama on ‘You didn’t build that’
Published August 01, 2012
Ray Gaster poses in front of one of his “you didn’t build that” response signs.
President Obama’s message to entrepreneurs that “you didn’t build that” prompted one Georgia business owner to respond with a not-so-subtle retort.
“I built this business without gov’t help. Obama can Kiss my ass,” reads the sign outside Gaster Lumber & Hardware in Savannah, Ga. Owner Ray Gaster posted that and two similar ones at all three of his company’s locations in response to Obama’s comments during a speech to supporters in Virignia, which struck a nerve with small business owners around the nation.
“When I heard what he said, I said ‘I’m going to give him an answer in Chicago language–something he’s used to.'”
– Ray Gaster
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” the president said at a campaign stop last month in Roanoke, Va.. “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life,” he continued. “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.”
Since the comments created a firestorm, Obama’s campaign has sought to put the comments in perspective, saying that Obama only meant that businesses rely on the community to flourish. Yet, his opponents have seized on the remarks, making them something of a small business rallying cry.
Gaster, a Vietnam veteran, told FoxNews.com he built his now 28-year-old business from the ground up.
“I started on my own,” Gaster said. “The government wasn’t there. We work long, hard hours and what he said is an insult to any businessman.”
The sign has been criticized for its harsh language, but Gaster said that the rough words were necessary.
“When I heard what he said, I said ‘I’m going to give him an answer in Chicago language–something he’s used to,'” he told FoxNews.com. “If I would have said ‘Dear Mr. President…’ there wouldn’t have been as strong of a response.”
Gaster sent a photo of his sign to 45 of his friends and business acquaintances. He said he wants other businesses to post signs as well.
“We need to stand up to the criticism coming from our own government. If this economy is to get better, it will be driven by small and independent businesses. We are part of the solution, not the problem,” Gaster said.
“I want to use this sign to urge other businesspeople to stand up and say ‘Mr. President, you’re wrong. I built my business,'” he told FoxNews.com. “I represent the majority of business owners in my belief.”