Paul defends Romney 'fire' comment, history at Bain
January 10th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
11 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. sf

    It's not about WHAT Romney said, it's HOW he said it. yes we as americans have the right to fire anyone we want if they're not providing the services we are paying them for. But no one "enjoys" doing it! and that's the problem with these republican candidates, they don't have any problem firing someone with a smile on their faces! The only decent one is John Huntsman, and i'm a democrat!!!

    Republicans are nothing but a joke and bullies when they don't get their way!

    OBAMA 2012!!!!

    JOHN HUNTSMAN 2016!!!!!

    January 10, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Olaf Big

    Ron Paul is a square guy, and is personally quite refreshing. I like to see him campaigning even though he will never win a nomination, let alone the presidency.

    January 10, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Brian

    I'm glad Ron Paul recognizes the truth here. Honestly, considering all of the times that these candidates speak publicly, it's amazing that they misspeak so few times. For anyone to criticize Mitt for the "fire" remark is ridiculous, including many of the commenters here. Have you people ever misspoken in a conversation? Said something that doesn't *quite* articulate what you were thinking? I think perfection is an unrealistic expectation for us to have of any political candidate.

    January 10, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Dominican mama 4 Obama you're right.
    Poor things.

    January 10, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The highest office in the land should have respect for it's citizens and the country, and never, ever forget WHO they are suposed to be serving. The PEOPLE – not a third world philosophy.
    A man does not diminish in rank when he acknowledges wrongs and tries to right them. Yes even with an apology if necessary.
    We screwed, disrespected, and pissed off A LOT of nations all over the world. They left us in the lurch in Iraq in a final act of basically telling us and our arrogant, ignorant, and bullying leadership: go screw yourselves you're on your own. We were being told to claim being Canadians if travelling abroad; they were throwing shoes at President Bush.
    Now the difference is PALPABLY different. Nations align their efforts alongside ours in defeating tyrants, and evil. They come to our assistance in our time of need; our President is awarded the highest honor in the land as a Nobel Laureate, and respected and admired by millions not only at home but worldwide.
    What was your point again?

    January 10, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. webster

    Woman in California cannot think for herself. Just because you dont support a holiday in someone's honor doesnt mean you are against everything the person stands for. Some people just dont want any holidays that honor individual people. They prefer holidays that honor ideas. For example, Medgar Evars and Malcom X both gave their lives for civil rights just like Dr. King, do they deserve a holiday? Maybe, maybe not, depends on who you ask. Maybe your hero is Malcolm X. If we had "Civil Rights Day" opposed to MLK day I'd endorse it. I'm the least racist person I know......I like to judge people by their character (sound familiar?) but I think MLK day was a bad idea. Our values as a country should honor ideas, not people. Honoring people is political, but honoring ideas defines values. But you dont think or yourself, you think what you are told.

    January 10, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Edison

    For me, it's Ron Paul or Obama. Romney isn't in the question, and the USA can't afford to go to war.

    January 10, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. seriously

    Most of the comments here are saying the same thing: he's not applying politics to his statements, he's just speaking the truth. This doesn't mean he's setting himself up for Vice President or senile or talking out of both sides of his mouth. It just means he's saying it like it is. Maybe Romney's comment gave people a bad vibe based on his "beady eyes" but, the reality is that Romney's comments are in line with the vast majority of the US...if someone or some company isn't providing quality service, we enjoy having the freedom to fire them and hire someone who's more effective. Who in their right mind is going to argue that viewpoint? And, to switch topics, Paul's foreign policy is dead on accurate if you look at the state of our country yet, people want to act is if he's crazy for opening us up to endless terrorist attacks. In case you missed it, all he's saying is this: A) Iran won't use a nuclear weapon even if they get it because they'll be destroyed the same day...therefore, there is no REAL risk and B) our military involvement in these other countries is bankrupting us, pissing everyone off (i.e. it is the singular reason that every terrorist organization gives for wanting to bomb us and probably the number one reason free people around the world consider us war mongers and unreasonable), and completely the opposite of what our founding fathers had in mind. He wants to keep our defenses high while redistributing our active military budget back into our country so we won't continue losing our jobs and homes...not to mention the side benefit of no longer relying on the largest communist country in the world for cash. If that's crazy, I'm crazy. Finally, for those of you who think we were attacked on 9/11 for being free and having wealth, you are in denial. I can list 10 other countries who are free and wealthy and yet do not induce the rage of these people nor suffer their attacks. Not to mention the fact that they've repeatedly told us exactly why they're attacking us...our occupation and the killing of their citizens. If this were reversed and we were all poor and surrounded by Al Queda bases who constantly spied on us, controlled our government, and killed our people, I think there's a good chance we'd have just as many "extremists" looking for revenge. Romney is a talking head and Ron Paul, while not the most effective speaker, is so far beyond the current candidates in forward thinking that, unfortunately, it leaves him describing concepts that few can understand. Ron Paul 2012

    January 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Eric in Ottawa

    I love Ron Paul. This guy's integrity knows no bounds. What a class act!
    America could do with a good dose of that honor of his.

    January 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. alpha

    Honest words from an honest man. That's why I admire Ron Paul because he doesn't think twice before he tells the truth

    January 10, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Joe4808 – Rudy NYC you are FIRED !!!
    Technically I do believe you gotta have a job before you can be fired....

    January 10, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Wiley

    I don't think I ever see our joker of a President saying anything is right that might conflict with re-election plans. The Ron Paul's of the world are too moral and ethical to get elected in this day in age.

    January 10, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Nick-o

    The republican primaries are a circus, and the candidates are all clowns.

    January 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    Truth and blah, blah...

    Leftist media? It's his own party that is attacking him, you knuckle-dragging dolt!

    January 10, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Granted the "fire" was taken out of context however, there is no person I know that leaves an insurance company out of poor service and says they "fired" that company. They may leave one insurance company for better service to another but I've never heard someone say they "fired" the company. And so it is the mindset and choice of words that give insight to Romney and that further links his mindset to Bain.

    January 10, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Jack Watcher

    Do all you RonPaulbots reallythink he speaks the truth? Perhaps you think he really didn't write that junk that came out under his name in his newsletter. Or that he never read it. The man is as much of an opportunistic prevaricator as the rest of the GOP hopefuls

    January 10, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. Chris

    Dr. Paul is my Hero. He deserves the Noble Peace Prize. An E-x Obama supporter.

    "The reality is, that our military presence on foreign soil is as offensive to the people that live there, as armed Chinese troops would be, if they were stationed in Texas." – Ron Paul.

    January 10, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ seriously:
    I happen to agree with Ron Paul's view of our military presence throughout the world. And I completely concur, personally, with your breakdown of why we are a terrorist target. Yet Paul, IMO, would turn us into isolationists and that is an extreme that won't work. Just as importantly, if not more, is the fact that under Paul I wouldn't be able to sit in any restaurant in this country and talk this over with you over a cup of coffee.

    January 10, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Bob

    I think the voters should take a lesson from this and do a bit of firing right now, at the polls. Romney and his merry band of profiteers and their Republican supporters in congress should get the ax the nest time they stand for election or reelection.

    January 10, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    It's not taking it out of context. The context is simple. Mittens is sooo very "in touch and in tune" with the suffering middle class and poor during these "difficult economic times"...after all, Mittens is also "unemployed" dontcha know....that he said something which, taken at face value, is two things: (1) precisely the kind of language he uses in his thoughts because he spent umpteen years as a coroprate raider and that, I'm sorry to say, is precisely the kind of objectifying language and perspective they have of all the "little people" their multi-million dollar decisions scatter to the four corners like so much flotsam and (2) is the knid of sloppy, insensitive remark that showcases his inability to put himself in the shoes of his audience in order to hear what they will hear when his words come out of his mouth...i.e., he can't relate and doesn't understand the average, struggling person or their everyday hardships and how it effects their entire lives and perspective. Rondroid can beg for the VP slot all he wants, but the Mittens ticket is a ticket to nowhere.

    January 10, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. G Conn

    America has such an honest, non partisan Constitutionalist! The founding fathers would have voted for Paul, and I'm going to too. Do your homework, and don't believe the smear campaign...the establishment fears him. The Federal Reserve is shaking in their boots.

    January 10, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. Tom L.

    You have got to be kidding, right? Respected around the world? Really??? Please give me tangible examples of how we are so much more respected and/or liked. Iran? No. Pakistan? Not so much. Afghanistan. Nahh. Palestinian situation? They went to the U.N. against our wishes. Russia? Sure, keep telling yourself that. China? Nope. Shall I go on???

    January 10, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. brianmchugh

    Ron Paul, the only person running for president who is actually, well, a person. that's right, I'm fully convinced the rest of the GOP contenders are robots, that they would all fail the Turing Test, and that their robot heads would explode and hundreds of thousands of little bureaucrats and CEO's would come scrambling out of their robot necks demanding our money and our freedom, and Ron Paul would be standing there, laugh a little, and then continue explaining Austrian Economics and the principles of Liberty.
    Ron Paul, 2012

    January 10, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Tom L.

    You should go look up the term "isolationist" because Ron Paul is absolutely not one. Typical hyperbole to try and get your point across rather than tell the truth. Does Paul want to trade with foreign countries? Absolutely. Therefore, you are being intellectually dishonest in your assessment. Or you are just not telling the truth.

    January 10, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Army Guy

    I'm quite shocked at how many men in uniform support Ron Paul. He's not an angry man. He's a realist. With a decent supporting cast I'm sure he would be the next Roosevelt. RP12!!!!!

    January 10, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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