New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof eviscerated the Fox News narrative at the heart of the Republican convention Tuesday, noting the use of government loans obtained by Sher Valenzuela, a speaker at the Republican National Convention touting the theme of “We Built It.”
That theme is rooted in a Fox News distortion of comments President Obama made in July, when he noted the role public infrastructure played in creating an environment where businesses can succeed. The Fox distortion was manifested in a convention address Tuesday by Valenzuela, a Delaware business owner tapped to address the convention. Yet Valenzuela’s actual experience is in contrast to the rightwing’s mythology. Indeed, her business success is deeply connected to government loans and contracts.
As Kristof wrote, “Valenzuela relied not only on her entrepreneurial skills but also on – yes, government help.” He went on to explain:
Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, documented $ 2 million in loans from the Small Business Administration for Valenzuela’s company, plus $ 15 million in government contracts (mostly noncompetitive ones).
In a presentation earlier this year, Valenzuela described government assistance as an entrepreneur’s “biggest ‘secret weapon.’ ”