Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller is using former President Barack Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” line to mock his Democratic opponent’s claims to have started her own business.
It comes amid news reports, including in the Reno Gazette-Journal, about the lack of public records backing up Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen’s repeated claims she built her own business in Nevada.
Heller’s campaign this week released an ad referencing those reports and calling it an “imaginary business.” Rosen’s campaign has defended her, saying she worked as an “independent consultant.”
“Jacky built a career as a computer programmer and software developer for major companies in Southern Nevada, and she used those tech skills to continue her career as an independent consultant,” Molly Forgey, a Rosen campaign spokesperson, told Fox News. “An independent consultant operates a business, and it’s absurd for Senator Heller to insinuate otherwise.”
As the Reno Gazette-Journal reported, Rosen said in November: “I’ve raised my family, I built a business – a woman in technology.”
But the stories have said there’s no evidence Rosen had local or state business licenses, employees or even a business name.
“You didn’t build that,” Obama was heard saying in the middle of the Heller ad.
That audio was from a 2012 campaign speech where Obama said, “If you've got a business – you didn't build that,” arguing businesses rely on government infrastructure. Republican rival Mitt Romney seized on those remarks to argue Obama was dismissive of small businesses.
Heller and Rosen are facing off in November’s Senate race in Nevada – considered one of the most competitive midterm races in the country.
The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Rosen up 1.5 percent.