“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Read by itself, the line sounds bad: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” But defenders of the President say “that” refers to the sentence before: “Somebody invested in roads and bridges.” He was saying that the business owner didn’t build the roads and bridges, somebody else did. Which is true.
So all of this would have been avoided if he had said: “You didn’t build those roads and bridges.”
Of such small twists of the tongue – and ambiguities – are political flaps made.