If there’s one thing Mitt Romney’s opponents want him to say, it’s the word “fire,” as in, to fire employees. Both his Republican rivals and Democrats are going after his record at Bain Capital, and Romney is trying to deflect accusations that he is responsible for laying-off a lot of workers. But today, Romney said the one sentence he should never say.
“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” Romney said to an audience in Nashua, New Hampshire.
In moments, the line was making the rounds on Twitter. Before noon, Jon Huntsman had used it against his rival. “Governor Romney enjoys firing people,” Huntsman said. “I enjoy creating jobs.” It will be tempting for Democrats to hammer on the line this evening when Randy Johnson, who lost his job at American Pad and Paper after Bain took it over, holds a press conference at DNC’s Boston office.
But in fairness to Mitt, the line seems to have been taken out of context. The candidate was explaining that people should be able to take their business elsewhere when the service provided is sub-par. He even paused after the line as if he was trying to correct what he had just said. Still, he said it, and with the primary hours away, it’s unlikely his opponents will give him any quarter.
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Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.