Politico Arena Topic: Will Obama's 'lazy' comments haunt him?
Well, the comments would be devastating if at all true; however, they were completely taken out of context. Even the Politico article splices up the President’s actual comments. Here is what he said verbatim in response to a question about impediments to investment in the United States:
“I think it’s important to remember that the United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity: our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture. But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We've kind of taken for granted—well, people will want to come here, and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America. And so one of things that my administration has done is set up something called SelectUSA that organizes all the Government agencies to work with State and local governments where they're seeking assistance from us, to go out there and make it easier for foreign investors to build a plant in the United States and put outstanding U.S. workers back to work in the United States of America. And we think that we can do much better than we're doing right now. Because of our federalist system, sometimes a foreign investor comes in and they've got to navigate not only Federal rules, but they've also got to navigate State and local governments that may have their own sets of interests. Being able to create if not a one-stop shop, then at least no more than a couple of stops for people to be able to come into the United States and make investments, that's something that we want to encourage.”
So, there is no there, there. He’s not calling America or Americans lazy. He is not questioning the character of the American people. He is calling out the American government for not being proactive enough in attracting foreign investment and explaining that the rules and regulations of the American federalist system sometimes create disincentives for foreign business and industry to set up shop in the U.S. Of course the opposition party will try to distort his words for political gain. That’s just part of the game. But an honest reading of his remarks reveals there is absolutely no controversy except in the minds of the consultants and presidential wannabes of the GOP.
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