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. Pumpkin Eater

    Romney said he likes firing people. And he had a gleam in his eye like the Marquis de Sade. Ever had a boss who liked making people miserable? That's what Romney reminded me of. I don't care if he said it about people or a corporation. Anyone who gets that much happiness from dismissing others has something wrong in their core.

    January 10, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Dennis

    When he made this comment Saturday night during the debate it was not associated with health care. I don't mind clarification later, but he was refering at the time to business in general. The Bain practices could have been considered as exploitive if he had such a simple attitude. That kind of profit would in no way cure the current economic problems.

    January 10, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. cowflop

    Turns out I was for Ron Paul before I knew there was a Ron Paul.

    January 10, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. RBRI

    Sounds like Ron Paul is hoping for a VP spot on the ticket. Rick Perry is an idiot to even make an issue out of this.

    January 10, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. JT

    You would think Ron Paul was working for Mitt Romney, he took down Newt Gingrinch with the "serial hypocrisy " add. Then has taken several shot at Gingrich. Ron Paul is owed a serious fruit basket, when this is all said and done.

    January 10, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Paul wants to fire most of our government. He is an anarchist who offer simplistic solutions for complex problems. This is appealing to people too young or too unaware to understand the complexity of today's world. If these folks could comprehend what America would be like if his vision was reality they'd find another candidate. For example, if we actually tried to defend America with four submarines, ostensibly armed with strategic nuclear weapons, our only solution for any problem requiring military capabilities would be a multi-megaton nuclear strike. This is the problem with Ron Paul – he puts out half-baked sound bites and the naive think it might actually work. He's an old man who's lost touch with the world and needs to go back to Lake Jackson and retire – take John McCain with him...

    January 10, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. JT

    Oops, I meant several shots at Santorum.

    January 10, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. conoclast

    Of course it's 'an example of the free market', Ron - but there are other examples, like in the HongKong tenements, of the free market too! Get back with us on libertarianism when the economy isn't in a ditch and we can better afford to experiment, OK? On paper your ideas look great though, Doc!

    January 10, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |

    All those that are saying that Ron Paul wants to be VP have no idea what they are talking about-Us Paulbots know that he would never do it--Romney has so many other issues, but Ron Paul knows that out of context attacks are below him.

    January 10, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. John C.

    @ Larry L that stated "For example, if we actually tried to defend America with four submarines, ostensibly armed with strategic nuclear weapons, our only solution for any problem requiring military capabilities would be a multi-megaton nuclear strike. This is the problem with Ron Paul – he puts out half-baked sound bites and the naive think it might actually work. He's an old man who's lost touch with the world and needs to go back to Lake Jackson and retire – take John McCain with him..."

    When did Ron Paul say that he'd cut our military to 4 submarines? You're just another one-of-them. Oh, what are the words I'm looking for... Ah yes! Fear-mongering idiots.

    January 10, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. N. Chomsky

    Since when is "firing people" not actually "firing people per se."? Clinton tried this semantic game with the verb "to be." Now the Tea/Repubs try it with firing people. What's next, "black is white, up is down, truth is lies."?

    January 10, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    These criticisms are truly idiotic – exactly why I would never vote for someone like Huntsman and Santorum.

    January 10, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. JWT

    These criticisms are the most idiotic thing I've ever heard – exactly why Santorum and Huntsman would never get my vote.

    January 10, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Tom L.

    Even if it wasn't taken out of context, which it clearly was, what's the problem? I like being able to take my business elsewhere (fire them) if they are not performing the services to my satisfaction. This is capitalism, which you clearly do not agree with from reading all of your angry and hateful posts.

    January 10, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. John

    Good for Ron Paul.

    Huntsman took Romney's comments out of context and distorted their meaning. This is the same as lying outright. The last thing politics needs is another liar, Mr. Huntsman.

    January 10, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Locoman8

    Ron Paul has the best chance against Obama. He is pulling in the young voters that Obama had last election. He is pulling in democrats upset with the way Obama has run things. He is getting much of the independent voters. Add that to the die hard libertarian GOP and he is the next pres.

    January 10, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Gary

    The people who are trashing Dr. Paul didn't listen to Mitt Romney's comment's. I heard all of it, and everyone except Dr. Paul who understood what Mitt Romney meant. However Ron Paul has the only plan to truly cut spending–it's on his webpage. Others do not have a plan, just saying what they'll do to restore economic prosperity to this country. Ron Paul 2012! Restore America Now! Legalize Freedom!

    January 10, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Blahblahblah

    Well now I can't vote for Romney because if Ron Paul defends him, there must be something wrong with him. I guess I am left with Googling to find out which candidate Chuck Norris is endorsing this go around and voting for that guys...

    January 10, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. G. Fawkes

    As an "Independent" voter, (once registered republican) I have to say, as much as it pains me, to say Mitt Romney is right, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to be able to fire all the "politicians" who "work" for me and everyone else in the country, and I mean ALL. He was spot on when he said to fire the persons who do not provide the services they were hired for, and hire people who WILL. You want the work to get done? STOP spoiling your employees, letting them run their own agenda through their workplace, SOME people can't even make a personal phone call on company time, yet these fools can use their positions to increase their private pocketbooks? WE NEED A PURGE. I know this is not what he meant by his comment, however, I hope this can stir the voters to vote with their minds clear, wallets firmly shut, and opinions and feelings undaunted by politicians' ideological rantings, and deceptive campaign ads.

    January 10, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. Marcus

    Tom L. – But what if your 'satisfaction' (huge profits) demands that you fire people regardless of how good or bad they are performing their jobs? What if your 'satisfaction' can only exists on such a situation, because get a profit without firing people and selling everything but the kitchen (or perhaps not even them) from the companies you 'bought' or 'invested in' is like... hard work (and you're not up for that, you weren't born for that).
    Is this still acceptable for you?

    January 10, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Ronsky

    @ Rudy NYC
    Comon, are you serious. Sounds like you need to listen with your ears to what he said, wether its fire or change, you and everyone knew what he meant. What kinda of person running for the country's highest office would enjoy firing people when so many are out of jobs, listen more.

    January 10, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Reggie from LA

    The criticisms are not idiotic or overboard. We could easily accept I suppose, that he meant the he likes having the choice. Would that satisfy most of you defenders? That's what he meant?
    Now try this one. Anybody with an ounce of compassion and especially someone who fronts to be a smart as Romney purports to be, would at least show some empathy by commenting to the effect that it is an unfortunate situation. But he didn't. He relished in his powerful presence about his ability to "fix the problem" by termination. Like he did for Bain. Remember? No? No one wants to remember or care for that matter. "Just defeat Obama!" A spoken mantra.

    January 10, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Tom L.

    First of all, that is not what he was talking about. However, the short answer is...yes. This is America. You answer to the bottom line. It is not up to you or me to determine what "huge profits" are. IMHO I think it's better to worry about yourself and not what other people make. We have got to stop this. It is not any of my business or yours what someone else makes.

    January 10, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Penobscot

    Ron Paul continues to impress me.

    I think Romney should fire half of Washington as his first act as POTUS.

    January 10, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Uthor

    Once again, Ron Paul shows that he's real and honest. He knows that the media wants to twist Romney's small words. Romney's right; if someone sucks at something, you get someone else who can do it right. There's no way I would vote for Romney, but if this is the best controversy anyone can come up with, then Romney's not doing too bad in the GOP clown car show.

    January 10, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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