DNC 2012 Notebook: N.C. delegate sick of 'I built that’ rhetoric



The convention crowd on Wednesday night

On Wednesday night, small business owners — like a brewing company guy — took to the stage at Time Warner Cable Arena to show that not all businesses support the other guy. Though North Carolina delegate Frank Deaton of Charlotte wasn’t in the spotlight, he agrees.

Deaton, 39, is the owner of Cunningham Cleaners and has been a Democrat since he reached voting age. He gets a little sick of the “I built that” rhetoric, the theme of ads that paint President Obama as believing owner initiative has nothing to do with business success. “The president was obviously not trying to say that,” Deaton told me. “The media and Republicans ran with it.”

He said businesses need government-built infrastructure, and he thinks industry regulations are reasonable. A few years ago, Cunningham Cleaners converted to a clean, zero emissions facility, Deaton said, with biodegradable, non-toxic solvent. “In some ways, it lowered operating costs.”

Not that he doesn’t have some disagreements with Obama policies. “Some things he could have gone more in a different direction, or less in a different direction,” Deaton said, but “when it comes down to issues, we see eye to eye.

On the world stage, American respect has soared since he’s been in office.”

Some of the opposition to the president is — at its “very core” — based on race, said Deaton. “The disrespect to him is off the charts, to the point of questioning if he’s an actual American or not. It’s pure ignorance, calling him a Muslim terrorist.” Deaton said he’ll be closely watching the voting trends in North Carolina.

Maybe not this week.

Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning Charlotte, N.C.-based journalist, is a contributor to The Washington Post's “She the People” blog, The Root and theGrio. Her “Keeping It Positive” segment airs Wednesdays at 7:10 a.m. on Fox News Rising Charlotte, and she was national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter.

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