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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: