(Newsroom America) -- A number of prominent business organizations are firing back at President Obama for his statements at campaign events over the weekend suggesting that small business owners did not create their own success stories.
In comments to supporters in Virginia Friday, Obama said business owners should pay more in taxes because they got help along the way.
"If you've got a business, you didn't build that," Obama said. "Somebody else made that happen."
In a blog entry, David Chavern, chief operating officer of the Chamber of Commerce, criticized the president for diminishing the risks taken by business owners in launching new ventures or simply trying to keep existing ventures afloat.
"We should applaud the risk-takers and the dreamers who are willing to stand out from the crowd," he wrote. "Rather than denigrate what these people have done, we need to encourage more people to be like them."
The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's largest small-business organization, also lashed out at Obama, saying his "unfortunate remarks over the weekend show an utter lack of understanding and appreciation for the people who take a huge personal risk and work endless hours to start a business and create jobs."
The NFIB said "every small-business owner who took a second mortgage on their home, maxed out their credit cards or borrowed money from their own retirement savings to start their business disagrees strongly with President Obama's claim. They know that hard work does matter."
A spokesman for likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney also hit back at the president, saying his comments "reflect just how unqualified he is to lead us to a real economic recovery."
"They are also insulting to the hardworking entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and job creators who are the backbone of our economy," she said.
For its part, the Obama campaign agreed that business owners put in lots of time and sweat equity to make their ventures a success.
"But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones -- that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation as a whole benefits from them," said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.
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