So what did the great orator mean when he said this..
The right is largely reacting to the "you didn't build it" angle, as in Obama is saying people who got successful only did so via the government. That's not literally what I think he meant. What I think he meant was that it takes a village to raise a child. Or a small business. Or IBM. The greater good, in other words. Lefties love talking about the greater good.
Problem is Obama has created (and is trying to slay) yet another strawman. The reason he's making the argument is to push for raising taxes on the 'rich'. It's not the first time--think Joe the Plumber. The gist is to suggest that conservatives don't want to pay any taxes at all in an effort to shame them into accepting tax hikes.
Thing is, nobody aside from an abject moron thinks taxes should be zero. Nobody aside from an abject moron doesn't understand that infrastructure and the government is beneficial to the success of individual Americans, or that we all need to contribute to the greater good. That's not the question, that's the strawman.
The question is how much should anyone pay for the greater good, ie, how much should the government be able to penalize successful people for the benefit of others. Had he said it that way it would have been much clearer, but at the same time it would have sounded much more sinister and almost un-American. Which is why he chose the strawman.
TWO STRAWMEN IN ONE 7/16/12
Besides being a ridiculously poorly-stated analogy there were actually two strawmen in this clip. At the beginning he says that America raised taxes on the rich in the 90s under Clinton, claiming it created 24 million new jobs and many new millionaires. Sorry Barack, but that internet thingy you claim the government created disagrees with you. And some of us were actually there. Clinton raised taxes on EVERYONE. Across the board. The reason Obama keeps lying and obfuscating is because he wants people to believe the Bush cuts only cut taxes for the rich, which is the part he wants to reverse. Again, if Obama came out and told the truth it would be much more clear, but it would sound much more sinister and socialist. So he uses the strawman.