It doesn’t look like all of Mitt Romney’s surrogates are singing from the same song-sheet when it comes to explaining away the candidate’s “I like being able to fire people” gaffe.
On Tuesday, however, a Romney surrogate drifted from the thrust of Romney’s campaign message and instead said something a lot less helpful. While Mitt Romney has been hammering his record as a job creator, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) conveyed on MSNBC that what Romney actually did at Bain Capital was wealth management — and that jobs really weren’t the point. When Interviewer Thomas Roberts asked whether Romney’s job at Bain was wealth management or job creation, Grimm put his foot in it.
“Well what I’m saying is that his job at Bain Capital was certainly part of creating wealth for the investors,” said Grimm. “That was the job and he was successful at it.”
Grimm then doubled down on this characterization of Romney as wealth manager rather than job creator. “Yesterday the governor said something about firing people,” he continued. “I think that’s a very good thing. I think that’s a very good thing because it’s honest and it’s real.”
Grimm obviously seems to have strayed from the intended message of the campaign. But this incident also shows how much the Romney camp is struggling to contain Monday’s comments and control the Bain narrative, which has brought even his Republican rivals round to attacking his corporate work from what until recently might have been classed as a liberal perspective.
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.