President Barack Obama cruised into Seattle Thursday as part of his 2012 campaign, touting everything from jobs to foreign policy to immigration reform to his stance on gay marriage.

Obama presented himself as a unifier at a time that the country is deeply divided.

To make his point, the president turned to the innovation economy, noting that Americans invested in the Internet.

We built this country together.  We built railroads and highways, we built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge — we built those things together.  We sent my grandfather’s generation to college on the GI Bill -– together.  We did these things not because they benefited any particular individual, any particular group; we did these things because we were building a platform for everybody to be able to succeed.  We were creating the conditions for everybody to be able to succeed.  These things made us all richer.  They gave us all opportunity.  (Applause.)  They moved us all together, all forward, as one nation, and as one people.

And that’s the true lesson of our past.  We love the free market.  We believe in rewarding entrepreneurship and risk.  But when I hear my opponent and some of these folks talk as if somehow nobody had anything to do with the success of these businesses and our entrepreneurs, I have to remind them that we — we the people — invested in creating the Internet that allowed Microsoft and Google and Facebook to thrive.  There’s not a business in this country that’s not benefiting from roads and bridges and airports — the investments we make together.  Every time we’ve got a kid who’s getting a great education in a public school and able to go to get an outstanding education at a public university, we’re contributing to the possibilities of the free market succeeding.  And that’s the right vision for our future.  That’s the reason I’m running for President, because I believe in that vision.  I believe in that vision.”

What struck me about the remarks is that Obama was just a few blocks from’s headquarters and yet he failed to mention the online retailer. Hasn’t Amazon benefitted from the rise of Internet more than most companies?

Our media partner, King 5 has a full transcript of Obama’s speech.

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  • Guest

    May be Amazon did not donate to Obama campaign.

  • ted

    “Obama presented himself as a unifier at a time that the country is deeply divided.”
    You have to be joking…

  • Guest

    Congratulations to our President for his support of Internet innovation! It’s for reasons like this that he faces certain reëlection this November.

  • Christopher Budd

    What I think is most interesting is that Obama is citing tech giants with no mention of startups or small tech businesses.

    Granted you can argue their size is a sign of success. But all these companies are now of a size that I don’t put them in the “entrepreneur” category.

    “Entrepreneurship and risk” can be found more readily in those startups and small tech businesses that he didn’t mention.I’m not saying I agree with this statement, but some have criticized Obama for being an advocate of big (government and business). Citing tech giants but not startups and small companies certainly give some credence to that claim.

    At the very least, it demonstrates a bit of myopia about tech in general and leaves one to wonder if nurturing startups and small businesses is a priority on a policy level.

    • Mark Illing

       I agree that the companies mentioned are beyond “entrepreneurial”, they were all once start-ups, and they are recognizable to the general public as such.  Were he to name most small start-ups, few but entrepreneurs are likely to recognize the names.  Consider the audience he is speaking to and his message will resonate with them.  Whether you agree or not with the message, it is understood by the audience.

      • Christopher Budd

        I understand and it wouldn’t make sense to mention only startups/small businesses. But they could be mixed in at the least. And he’s promoted companies no one has heard of in other contexts (like green energy). Even something like Zynga (which is still more startup-ish than FB) would work.

        I think it just shows that for Obama tech = tech giants. And that’s worrisome in an environment that, by all accounts, is one of the worst economic environments for startups in decades. 

  • Doddjeremy

    To proclaim that somehow “We the People” deserve an equal share of anyone’s success simply because we pay taxes overstates the role or govt, and understates the value of individual achievement. What’s more, Obama’s logic makes everyone who believes it worse off. 

    This reasoning dangles a carrot in front of all those who blame their own unhappiness on other people’s success, and it threatens the stick to all those who believe that success is a result of sacrifice and hard work.Yes, I suppose I can take pride in the fact that my taxes built roads that allow MSFT employees to get to work everyday. But to site it as a reason for any company’s success is to credit the milk man for one’s having healthy kids.

    • John

      I think the point is “you can’t have one without the other.'”

      • Doddjeremy

        That is the point. So why is Obama’s solution always more government? 

        • Guest

          Government values the people, whereas industry values profits.

          Government is also the #1 source of employment and jobs.

          • Doddjeremy

            They’re both just people in a building. One has to generate tangible results, the other masks failure with good intentions.

            Even if govt was also the #1 source of jobs, you can’t tax yourself to prosperity. Eventually you’ll run out of other people’s money.

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