Romney: 'I like being able to fire people who provide services'
January 9th, 2012
11:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney: 'I like being able to fire people who provide services'

Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) - As he offered a lengthy rumination Monday on his experience in the private sector and how it would inform his presidency, Mitt Romney made another comment that will likely provide fodder for his opponents.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney said while answering a question from an audience member about health care.

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As he described his approach to overhauling the health care system, the GOP candidate added: "If someone doesn't give me a good service that I need, I want to say I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me."

The remark came a day after Romney said he had feared getting a "pink slip" at times during his career.

Both his Democratic and Republican rivals seized on the "pink slip" comment Sunday, poking fun at the multi-millionaire, former businessman.
Romney's speech Monday to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce was peppered with stories about austerity measures the former businessman had brought from the private sector to government during his term as Massachusetts governor.

He described launching his career at Bain Capital, a private equity firm he headed in the 1990s and which invested in starting up Staples, an office-supply chain.

"Because money was dear in a start-up, where everybody's investments and careers were in some respects on the line or some were at least, people were careful with money," he said, telling the audience he helped stock store shelves at night and attended meetings at the company's headquarters "in an old King's department store."

Romney's business history has become a bull's-eye for his GOP rivals and Democrats looking to attack the frontrunner.

At the end of his speech a woman stood up to ask Romney a question, saying the event organizers would not call on her. Speaking without a microphone, the woman said she was a representative for the United Auto Workers and pushed Romney on his opposition to the government bailout of General Motors - a move she said saved the jobs of many auto workers.

Romney responded his suggestion for a managed bankruptcy plan for the struggling auto manufacturer would have resulted in "a strong and vibrant General Motors" without making concessions to unions. He charged President Obama had bowed to unions in the deal, calling it "crony capitalism."

"Under my plan, General Motors would have shed its excess costs. The workers would have had their jobs," Romney said. "I believe the market works better than a president stepping in to take care of his friends."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. roadwarrior

    whats everyone going to say when obama loses the election you can say what you want but theres never been a worst pres in history what happened to all the money from the first stim package and the auto industy got it self in trouble when gas went to four dollars a gallon gm brought back the hemi and built larger trucks that nobody wanted only ford restucted there buisness what about so called sonatra wake down with obama

    January 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The pink slip that Romney was talking about was a bill for millions of dollars from making unprofitable investment choices. He just wants you to think that it meant he was being fired. Doesn't the power company send you a "pink slip" when it sends you a final notice? A nice neat demand on a pink piece of paper, pay this amount or else. This is how you mislead people by lying by telling people the truth. Let them interpret your words, just as they wish.

    January 9, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. diridi

    Making money is not bad, but shipping jobs overseas with GREED is bad, worse, and Worst. Amen! Obama2012.
    PS: When nation is having lot of problems, bringing cheap labor into the nation is bad, and INS go nab all the business that hire these!!!!

    January 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. annie s

    Mr. 1% just handed the election to Obama.

    January 9, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Reggie from LA

    A good president would have said something like, "I like that I can reserve the right to replace someone who is not providing me the service that is expected. It would be unfortunate to have to put someone out of work, but whenever the service is unsatisfactory, it is time to look elsewhere. A real jerk would say something to the effect that he or she has the power to "put someone out of work if their not providing me the service I expect." Kinda like what Romney said.

    January 9, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda I feel you. The only thing that folks like Romney are good at is screwing us.

    January 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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