Paul defends Romney 'fire' comment, history at Bain
January 10th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Paul defends Romney 'fire' comment, history at Bain

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Ron Paul defended rival Mitt Romney Tuesday over his Monday comment that he likes having the ability to "fire people."

Texas Rep. Paul said the Republicans who are taking aim at the former Massachusetts governor over the comment are "unfairly attacking" the candidate.

"I think this is just typical politics and they're unfairly attacking him on that issue," Paul said outside a polling place at Webster School in Manchester. "He never literally said what they say he said. They're taking him way out of context."

In a speech to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce Monday, Romney said he wanted Americans to be able to switch insurance companies if they were unhappy with their service.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," he said. "You know, if someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say 'You know, I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.'"

Paul also said Romney's history as CEO at Bain Capital, over which he has received criticism, is an example of the free market.

"You save companies, you save jobs when you reorganize companies that are going to go bankrupt," Paul said. "They don't understand."

While Romney touts his job creating past, he has increasingly come under attack for his private sector experience, with critics suggesting thousands lost jobs while he was at the helm of the venture capital company.

White House hopeful and Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently chastised Romney over the two topics while he campaigns in South Carolina.

However, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also said Tuesday he believed Romney's comments are being misconstrued.

"His comment yesterday about liking firing people, as soon as I saw the whole quote I said it's not fair to take it out of context, he clearly was talking about the right to choose between service providers," Gingrich told reporters in Bedford, New Hampshire. "He wasn't talking about actually firing people per se."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Ron Paul
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    Senility is setting in FAST. Already he has forgotten Romney is his opponent. Please don't let this angry old man ANYWHERE near the White House. PLEASE.

    January 10, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Stephen Tardif

    Paul takes the high road again. Actually states what he believes, imagine that.

    January 10, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. PJ Smith

    I am going to make my bold prediction on the clear winner of the Republican Primaries:

    Wait for it......

    The winner is: THE SWEATER VEST!!!!!

    Yes, it started with just one showing on the person of Rick Santorum. But following it's surge in Iowa it showed up on Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and soon will be spreading to the other candidates.

    The only question that remains is whether the Sweater Vest will be able to defeat the Navy Blue Suit in the general election.

    January 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. ModerateMan

    Alright Dana. You have a long way to go to regain any credibility in your ability to be objective. At least this is a start.

    January 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Of course it is all leftist and media concocted lies trying to smear the Republican front runner. Nothing new there! Not sure why Obama will need a BILLION dollars to get re-elected when he has the LSM doing all his dirty work for him free of charge.

    January 10, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Jariv

    I like when people stand up for the Truth ! Go Ron Paul. I am a Mitt supporter, yet if he wasn't in the race I would vote for Ron.

    January 10, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. MozCho

    @Woman in California... If Ron Paul is the one who is angry, then why is he stating facts calmly while you are hysterically pleading for his non-election? Sounds to me like you are a Woman in California who needs a partner in life, perhaps someone who can show you that life is worth living peacefully, opposed to your current strategy, rage-fueled hysterics.

    January 10, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Paul is right. There is stuff aplenty that you can use to attack Romney without resorting to taking the MEANING of what he said out of context. However, Romney should learn, as should Gingrich and the rest of these clowns,that you have to say what you mean and mean what you say when you're running for the highest office in our land. Telling Russia that you had no intention of dropping nukes on them, even though that was literally what you said,isn't going to cut it. Presidents cannot and should not speak in such a way that the MEANING of their statements can be so easily misconstrued.
    For someone who's in his, what, third run for the Presidency, Rommey is coming across as a punka$$, rank amateur.
    Obama 2012.

    January 10, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," he said.

    "You know, if someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say 'You know, I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.'"
    -----------------
    How many people have you ever heard talk like that? 99% of people would say that they need to "change or drop" insurers, and most of those would not enjoy the hassle of having to make the changes.

    Romney called it firing people, and seems to find a pleasure at the thought of being "able to fire People." He seemed to relish in the decision making process, and showed no sign of having experienced the hassle of making the change himself, or being on the receiving end of getting fired.

    His words do not need to be chopped up. Just play the entire quote from above....and listen to the murmer of shock and awe that goes through the crowd when he says it. Watch the frantic hand movement as he tries to clean it up. He gaffed, plain and simjple. But his gaffe wasn't factual. His gaffe revealed a heretofore hidden side of his personality. The one that plays right into the picture that liberals have been painting of Romney.

    January 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The only question that remains is whether the Sweater Vest will be able to defeat the Navy Blue Suit in the general election.
    ------------------------
    Thanks for the chuckle!

    January 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Indy

    The candidates should put more effort into getting Romney mad, he gets that crazy scary eyed look when he's mad and he gets so flustered he looks like he will snap.

    January 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Darryl Schmitz

    Credibility and principle. Paul refuses to jump on the Romney-bashing bandwagon when he sincerely believes it is wrong to do so.

    January 10, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney should have know a better way to say it; such as "If I don't like the service, I'll drop them." Yes, there was more to the sentance, but Romney is having it come back to him. His campaign had a video of Obama quoting a McCain staffer from the 2008 election that was taken completely out of context. Payback is a royal pain in the... pick a body part.

    January 10, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Todd

    This is all they got. Way to go DNC. Wasserman-Shultz is completely out of ideas. She knows she is up a creek with no paddle. Shame on the Republican candidates for actually following this ridiculous line of thought. Like water of a duck's back, this will roll off of Mitt just like Obama will.

    January 10, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Alex

    Ron Paul is such a class act. The guy is 100% pure honesty.

    January 10, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Mikey

    @Truth – Really??? It has been Huntsman, Perry, and Santorum that have been taking pot shots at Romney for that comment... and I agree it is totally out of context and unfair. However, after watching dozens and dozens of unfair attacks on candidate and then President Obama from the GOP, it is a bit amusing to see the GOP eating its own. That said, Ron Paul is showing some class here.

    Obama will need $1B to counteract all the money that will be poured into the campaign through Super PACs by those (Koch brothers, etc) who want to further game the system to their benefit. Remember, the vast majority of Obama's money comes from individuals making small donations (average donation less than $100 and average donor gave less than $200 in 2008). Most votes in history. Most volunteers in history. Most donors in history. Obama is the President of the entire United States, not the privileged few.

    January 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Cross

    He really believes in what he sais. RON PAUL 2012

    January 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. The Real Truth

    @ Wish you could "tell the truth and nothing but the truth"

    Sorry but the "leftist media" has not even begun to "smear" your precious con front runner the other cons are doing a great job of it on their own....and no at this rate President Obama, yes he is your President, won't need a BILLION dollars to get re-elected, it really shouldn't take any more than a couple of dollars to sufficiently trounce anyone besides Huntsman that the republicans have to offer.

    January 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Truth somebody wrote:

    Of course it is all leftist and media concocted lies trying to smear the Republican front runner.
    ----------–
    I guess you missed the sound bite of Mitt Romney expressing shock and dismay that ALL of the attacks over his words are coming from the other candidates and other conservatives. He expressed surprise that no attacks were coming from the left.

    What you are seeing are signs of the long time simmering, civil war within the Republican Party between extreme elements of the Tea Party and the more moderate majority who have run the party for decades. This battle needs to play out in public with clear cut winners and losers, if the Republican Party wants regain any credibility and respect with The People.

    January 10, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Don

    I love Ron Paul. I hope Romney gives Ron Paul a nice position on his team at the White House.

    January 10, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. m

    Why should facts be considered in this case? They all lie, they are misconstrue the facts, they all put words in other people's mouths

    January 10, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Johnathan

    Republicans have to be careful in speaking about Bain and corporate raiders. To rale against that, would in effect be raling against the same type of crony capitalism that the GOP has slaved to provide to the wealthy for decades thru deregulation and tax breaks for exporting jobs.

    When have you ever heard a republican scream bloody murder over the predatory capitalism that pays them to stay in office?.

    January 10, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Tyler1982

    I find it confusing that people don't want this "angry old man" in the white house. If he is indeed angry, it's because this nation is on the verge of total collapse.
    I'd be angry too, if my country has been put on its death bed by corrupt, typical, politicians.

    Oh wait....I am angry, because my country is dying. Ron Paul 2012.

    January 10, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. cabj1905

    Ron Paul is not afraid to speak his mind. Ever. Even if that means dirty politics. He's done it to Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Huntsman and most notably, Perry. I just don't understand why he seems to go out of his way to not say a thing about Romney. Now he's defending him? Granted, I see nothing wrong with Romney's "fire" comments, but why is he coming to the rescue of his rival? What gives?

    January 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. xxixpines

    This is why people love Ron Paul. Out of his mouth comes the truth.

    January 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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