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When it comes to keeping quotes in context, Collins should heed his own advice to Hochul

Publisher's Note: A few weeks ago, Mark Brudz discussed the idea of regularly fact checking the candidates for the NY-27 Congressional District, much like a site like factcheck.org does on a national level. We believe this is the first such post with more to come in this campaign. We hope to encourage both candidates to run more honest and truthful campaigns than is usually seen in this highly partisan era.

If Mr. Collins is going to cry foul for Mrs. Hochul cherry-picking his words and not keeping them in full context, he should also hold himself to the same standard.

A Collins For Congress email sent Saturday afternoon used a statement by President Obama to attack Hochul.

Obama: "If you got a business, you didn't build it. Somebody else made that happen."

The email then went on with the subtitle: "Kathy Hochul's Presidential Candidate Slams Small Businesses."

Yes, the president did in fact say that, however, it was taken out of context in a excerpt from a campaign rally speech in Roanoke, Va., on Friday July 13. The Collins team included in their email a quote from the Washington Times article written by Walter Cooler.

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

The president's entire statement however, was not exactly a slam toward small business. In full context, the president more specifically expressed his belief in infrastructure and that successful business people rely on that infrastructure to grow their business. Additionally, President Obama stated that successful business people have achieved but also relied upon teachers and mentors to reach their goals.

All in all, there was much fodder for Mr. Collins with the statement in full context because it becomes more of philosophical discussion where Chris Collins actually can make some issue-based arguments.

It is no different than the flap earlier this month between Collins and Kathy Hochul. (See The Batavian; NY-27 race shaping up as a war over words.)  Hochul jumped on a Collins statement that he made in answer to a question during an interview for The Batavian. Clearly Mrs. Hochul took Mr. Collins out of context in order to obtain the upper hand when there was plenty in that interview that she could have taken issue with in full context.

What we need from both Collins and Hochul at this point is more statement of what they intend to do in Congress and less of the carefully choreographed talking points that are typical in today's politicians.

This is President Obama's statement in full context:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. 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. There are some things, just like fighting fires; we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

It would be very appropriate for Chris Collins to take the president to task on the entire statement in context, likewise it would also be appropriate for him to question Mrs. Hochul's position on this statement, should she actually have made one. In Chris Collins email, there were several bullet points where he did in fact state his strengths and there was a legitamate question posed as to Mrs. Hochul's private sector business knowledge and experience.

I say let them both go at it from that point and may the best candidate win. But spare us the talking points and the he said/she said game this time around. If you want my vote, spell out your agenda and let me decide.

After the jump, the complete press release from the campaign of Chris Collins (click on the headline to read more):

Press release:

Obama: "If you got a business, you didn't build it. Somebody else made that happen."

Kathy Hochul's Presidential Candidate Slams Small Businesses

(Clarence, NY) - Yesterday, President Obama issued a stunning declaration regarding America’s small businesses owners, saying “If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The remarks came during the President’s appearance at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia.

A link to the video can be seen here.

“This is the problem when you elect leaders who haven’t spent a day in the private sector or created a single job. Typical politicians like Barack Obama and Kathy Hochul don’t understand what it takes to create jobs, because they’ve spent their entire careers on the public payroll. They simply can’t comprehend the sacrifice, hard work and determination it takes to make a small business succeed,” said Collins.

“When was the last time Kathy Hochul or Barack Obama skipped a paycheck to make payroll? When was the last time they signed the front of a paycheck, not just the back? When was the last time they went without any pay to ensure that their small business succeeded? The answer is never. And this shows just how out of touch Barack Obama and Kathy Hochul are with our broken economy,” said Collins.

President Obama made his remarks at an event in Virginia Saturday afternoon, saying:

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. " (Original Story)

As a small business owner, Collins has spent the last 36 years rescuing failed companies and making them successful. He has created over 500 jobs, and has mentored dozens of other successful small businesses as part of the University at Buffalo’s Center For Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.

“Our economy is broken for one simple reason - the people in office like Barack Obama and Kathy Hochul don’t have the first idea on how to fix the economy or create jobs because they only answer they’ve ever known is more government, more spending and higher taxes. The real world knows better and that’s why it’s time for a change in Washington,” said Collins.

Charlie Mallow
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Not shocking at all. This is how the game is played these days. The plan is to dehumanize your opponent and get people to believe it.

Peter O'Brien
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"Its impossible to know" if Obama truly believes that the government is responsible for the growth of all businesses.

Charlie Mallow
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Peter, your doing the same thing these politicians are doing, taking someone out of context to dehumanize. The president made the point that an educated work force and all the other benefits of society play a part in a successful business, as well as hard work and initiative.

http://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/13/remarks-president-ca...

Peter O'Brien
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Its "impossible to know" if Charlie is being paid to write comments in support of his party.

Its also "impossible to know" if Hochul is only voting conservative once in a while because Pelosi and Reid are allowing her to in order to convince people that she is not like her party leaders.

Charlie Mallow
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I didn't realize linking what was actually said could now be concidered "support".

Howard Owens
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Waiting for somebody to call me back, decided to watch a little Milton Friedman on Youtube.

Came across this video from 1978 in which Friedman makes the same argument for the reason behind rising health care costs that Chris Collins did in his previous remarks.

Just kind of interesting.

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