Bill Crutchfield, who started the electronics sales company that bears his name, hosted GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan Thursday night at his company headquarters in Charlottesville, and used the chance to poke at President Obama’s claim that business owners don’t succeed on their own.
“Yeah, I built this,” Mr. Crutchfield said. “We were talking earlier today. I think President Obama was maybe 12 years old when I started the business, so I’m not sure he could have contributed much to this.”
He was responding to Mr. Obama’s comment down the interstate aways in Roanoke earlier this year, when the president said businesses didn’t succeed on their own hard work, but had government assistance, particularly in the form of infrastructure, that enabled them.
“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own,” Mr. Obama said in that July event, arguing that they had help from government in the form of teachers or roads or bridges. “I’m always struck by people who think, well, ‘It must be because I’m 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 hard-working people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.”
Mr. Crutchfield wrote his first mail-order catalog at his mother’s dining room table and held down another full-time job while he began selling electronics merchandise, eventually building the company into a major employer in central Virginia, known for impressive customer service.