House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that Apple’s iconic iPhone was “invented” by the federal government instead of entrepreneur Steve Jobs.
“Anybody here have a smartphone?” the California Democrat asked attendees at a hearing on the Democratic National Convention platform. “In this smartphone, almost everything came from federal investments in research. […] They say Steve Jobs did a good idea designing it and putting it together. Federal research invented it.”
Mrs. Pelosi implied that GPS technology, special alloys and other government-funded research projects were enough to deem the federal government the inventor of the iPhone.
Mr. Jobs died on June 6, 2011, at age 56 after a prolonged fight against pancreatic cancer. The Apple co-founder was the visionary behind the creation of the iPod and the iPhone, which helped make the company the most valuable in the world.
Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, currently oversees over 100,000 employees — and $233 billion in sales in 2015.
The Washington Free Beacon noted on Thursday that Mrs. Pelosi’s comments were strikingly similar to President Obama’s 2012 campaign comment about successful businessmen.
“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own,” Mr. Obama said at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia. “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”
“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 American 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. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet.”
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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