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. ProbeDeeper

    Romney said "I like to be ABLE to fire people" – what's the problem with that. He did not say "I like to fire people." Why are some folks finding this objectionable at all? Do we really want a society where we should not be ABLE to fire people (or companies)?

    January 10, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Nick

    Absolutely shocking to think that a candidate would put the truth before politics. Who doesn't want that from a president!?

    January 10, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Oldfan

    Ron Paul is right, again.

    January 10, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. akromper

    Too bad that while Romney was busy saving some money for rich people and protecting their interests he was wrecking the lives of the little guy. You know, the ones that actually work for a living.

    January 10, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Bob

    Ron Paul is a man of conviction – I respect him for that. He has bad ideas and misunderstands economics (basically he has an econ 101 level of understanding without comprehension of institutional economics, transaction costs, externalities, and so on), but at least the man is honest. I can't say that about many politicians.

    January 10, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. lost in the usa

    For the sake of our country, please take a couple hours to read what Ron Paul it is all about. My God people, we have so lost our way that Newt Gingrich was a viable candidate! Our country needs a president with solutions. Paul HAS SOLUTIONS! Paul is the last congressman with integrity. He is the only congressman who doesn't play politics like a game. Please read. Please educate yourself. Take a few steps back from your own situation and consider what the country needs. Consider what future generations will need. We need to get back to basics and make the united states of america a country we can all be proud of again.

    January 10, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. Marcus

    Tom L. – Yes this is America, as if I did not knew that.
    And that's a false answer.
    I am NOT criticizing what he said. It was taken out of its contest and was turned into what it wasn't by his political rivals within his own party.
    That's a fact.
    Another one is that if your definition of success is downsizing everything you can, fire anyone you can and leave behind but ashes, because all along you were giving to yourself a huge paycheck for those actions...
    ...then your definition of 'success' and mine are very different and irreconciliable.

    January 10, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. tom l

    Success has nothing to do with this conversation. I just think it's sad that we are so concerned with what others make. It is not for you or I to judge what is too much. There are laws in place so that employees are not exploited. If they cut, they cut not to be mean, but to be more profitable and I just don't think it's for you or I to judge. If an individual is valuable to the company and helps improve its bottom line, then an employer would be foolish to get rid of them.

    January 10, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Woman In California
    Ron Paul defended Romney because he puts principles above political point scoring. Nothing lends more credibility to a politician than defending an opponent when not doing so would score political points. He has said some things I don't agree with, but when it comes to integrity no one comes close to Ron Paul.

    January 10, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. teamplayer

    Ahhhh the media. The media. The true politicians of this country.

    January 10, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Hair bear

    This is why Pauls numbers want go up, when your running against the guy who wants the same job as you, why defend him? Let the chips fall were they lay! Attack one week defend the next day, No Way!

    January 10, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. madcow11

    Ron Paul is a national disgrace. The guy has no knowledge of history or economics, and yet writes wacko books and articles about reinstating the gold standard or eliminating the Fed. And, yea, let's eliminate all the government regulations while we are at it too - the very ones that people have struggled to pass into laws over the past couple hundred years at great personal dedication and sacrifice. I sure don't want a weird Ron Paul vision of life in the 1700s. Go away Ron Paul. PLEASE GO AWAY!

    January 10, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. John

    Ron Paul has class,, he knows the comment was out of context and a wasted arguement better time spent discussing an issue.

    January 10, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  14. JasonD

    It would be great if this article was written as a way to show Ron Paul's honesty and integrity, even when dealing with a political opponent, but if you note who the author is......and have followed her recent attempts to derail Paul's momentum after being asigned by CNN to cover his campaign you will read between the lines and realize that its just her attempt to provide some damage control for a potential stumbling block for Rommney (the establishments pick for president)

    January 10, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. nytw

    The purpose of a business is to create wealth, not to give people jobs.

    January 10, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  16. simpleton

    Of course. The Tea Party is nothing but a shill for corporate America.

    January 10, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. OrangeW3dge

    Then he follows it with : "They don't understand."
    Here's the truth of the matter. When someone spends that much time spilling words out of their mouths, they are going to eventually say what they really mean. And I think, they have both said exactly what they believe, that they are in the single-digit percentage of Americans that want control for control's sake.

    January 10, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. madmaninthemiddle

    Good for Congressman Paul. I was disappointed that Huntsman took this cheap shot line of attack. Not at all surprised that Gingrich did. Also disappointed at the Dems who jumped on board.

    If you have to lie to defend your ideology, maybe your ideology is a lie.

    January 10, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. Matt

    It doesn't surprise me that these republican insiders are attacking Romney like this. And Ron Paul is a good man with integrity. The truth is...Romney is also a good man. He has proven himself successful in both politics and business, and he has done so without becoming a Washington insider. This country needs a president who has the balls to FIRE all those people Obama has yet to get rid of. I don't think Romney will flinch for a second. Romney will be Washington's worst nightmare.

    January 10, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Mitt you got some explaining to do?

    The record is there .. perhaps that’s why Mitt and his surrogates want to shut down any discussion of his business record.

    Just one example:

    Mitt Romney’s company engaged in Medicare Fraud at the expense of taxpayers, the government, and seniors so he could make more money for himself and his wealthy friends.

    In fact, Mitt Romney and Bain made large profits from the sale of a medical testing company whose revenues were generated in part from a criminal scheme to fraudulently bill the federal Medicare system for unnecessary blood tests.

    Mitt Romney personally made $473,000 when Corning Inc. purchased Damon Corp. Bain made a profit of $7.4 million.

    In 1996, Damon Corp. pleaded guilty a federal conspiracy charge of defrauding the government of $25 million between 1988 and 1993.

    Mitt Romney personally served on the board of Damon from 1990-1993.

    The company paid a fine of $119 million for Medicare Fraud. At that time, its was the largest fine in history for Medicare Fraud. The Medicare fraud scheme was described by then the US Attorney as “a case, pure and simple, of corporate greed run amok.”

    January 10, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. JustDad

    Wow, shows how screwed up your values are. Paul is the only honest man in the race, and the only true conservative and constitutionalist. Romney is not a bad guy, just to liberal for me. Paul believes in balancing the budget and living within our means. If that's crazy then you MUST be from California, the must underwater state in the nation.

    January 10, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  22. GGinBham

    "Ron Paul continues to impress me.
    I think Romney should fire half of Washington as his first act as POTUS."

    If you want that to happen, vote for Paul. That's high on his list.

    January 10, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  23. Travis

    The "fire" comment was taken completely out of context not by any of Romney's political opponents, but by ratings-hungry reporters and producers who can't seem to do their jobs without generating unnecessary controversy. The media in this country has infused politics, as well as virtually other aspect of our society, with drama more fitting of a trashy reality TV show. It's sad what our world has come to.

    January 10, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
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