Caterer serves up dissenting T-shirt at Obama event
The co-owner of the Village Corner Deli in Davenport, Iowa, got some attention with his Obama T-shirt this week.
The Washington Post
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Ross Murty likes business, but he doesn't like President Obama.
And so the co-owner of the Village Corner Deli in Davenport agreed to cater during Obama's visit Wednesday, but not before donning a T-shirt blaring the message: "Government didn't build my business. I did."
It was a reference to a remark Obama made several weeks ago that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has seized upon to portray Obama as anti-business. Obama, referring to the help government provides to businesses by building roads and providing education and other services, said, "If you've got a business — you didn't build that."
"No one from the government was there when we were sweating it, when we were building this business," Murty said. Before him was a bank of chafing dishes filled with smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, vegetable Parmesan bake and hash-brown casserole provided to the White House media corps covering the president's three-day swing across Iowa this week.
Murty, 45, a registered Republican, didn't really have a choice with the catering job. His partner, Bret Dalton (a registered Democrat), accepted the work Saturday while Murty was in Chicago at a Cubs game.
Murty had no objections. "I would never say no to anybody for any reason," he said. "My partner and I have different views in politics, but business is business."
The White House performs background checks on contractors for security reasons, but it does not vet them for their political views. Also, caterers are hired to provide food for the White House media corps, which pays for the food, even though the White House makes the arrangements.
The Obama campaign had no comment on Murty's T-shirt.