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The First State Manufacturing owner and Delaware Lt. Gov. candidate is set to speak at the RNC this week, but government funding for her business is interfering with the "We Built It" message.
Lining up small business owner and Delaware Lt. Gov. candidate Sher Valenzuela as one of the speakers at the Republican National Convention this week seems like it would have been a no-brainer.
After all, Tuesday night's theme, according to a press release, is "We Built It," a defiant reference to now-infamous comments by President Barack Obama delivered last month during a Virginia campaign rally.
"If you've been successful you didn't get there on your own," the president said at the time. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
The GOP seized on the president's comments and have — along with many others picking up the meme — run with a counter-theme since.
Tuesday's "We Built It" RNC speeches, culminating with a keynote address by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, will highlight America's "entrepreneurial strength and our people's incomparable work ethic," Convention CEO William Harris was quoted as saying in a press release.
And so, Valenzuela, who was Delaware's Small Business Person of the Year in 2012 after growing First State Manufacturing from her garage to a 70,000 square-foot facility, according to Newsworks.org, must have looked like an obvious choice.
Until news outlets caught on to the fact that her business had received millions of dollars in federal loans, the Huffington Post reported, challenging the "We Built It" narrative of self reliance.
Things got even worse for Valenzuela's cause after a Reddit user created a fake website for her business mocking the irony. "On Tuesday night, small business owner Sher Valenzuela will address the nation at the RNC on how she "built it herself". Unfortunately, she forgot to build www.firststatemanufacturing.com. So, I built it for her!" the user wrote.
Here's Valenzuela taking on the president's comments in July:
Need a refresher on how the "you didn't build that" controversy started? Watch the president's original remarks in the video below.
And a taste of the mockery that was quick to follow:
There is a video of her talking about the government funding she got on that parody site.
Sher and her husband Eli are personal friends of mine, and I can assure you,that she EARNED every bit of the success her business now enjoys. She is an intelligent, determined, and persistent woman who was wise enough to enlist the support of SBA and other assistance programs that have been in place since well before the current administration took office. While she, like so many others, takes issue with President Obama's "You didn't bulid that" statement, she is has always maintained that government does have a place in supporting new businesses, just not determining the winners vs. losers. As is so typically done by the left when faced with a challenge to their opinion, her stand on government assistance for businesses has been grossly misrepresented. Here is an ACTUAL quote from Sher on the topic vs. the twisted nonsense reported by the mainstream media: “Make no mistake, it’s the entrepreneur’s blood, sweat and tears that’s the key to any small business succeeding. That’s why the President’s exact quote – “you didn’t build it – someone else did” – rings hollow with me." “Government alone can’t build our economy. It should help create overall economic conditions that foster business growth and offer the encouragement and support business needs to thrive in today’s global economy. U.S. Small Business Administration-supported programs like SCORE, which provides assistance with the creation of business plans, and SBA backed loans, are resources millions of entrepreneurs across the country like me have used with great results for our economy.” It was her diligence in seeking this type of support needed to get First State Manufacturing off the ground, followed by her exemplary business skills that led to their current success. Said skills, by the way, will serve Sher well as Delaware's next Lt. Governor!