During a breakfast speech in New Hampshire this morning, Mitt Romney’s delivery slipped into the accelerated pace and uber-eager tone it does when the self-described “turnaround artist” is discussing the free market. In what must have been a departure from his planned statement, the current GOP frontrunner for the presidential nomination said seven words that promise to follow him like a wicked nor’easter of his adopted home of Massachusetts: “I like being able to fire people…”
Having worked so many overtime shifts at the bullshit factory making up charges against President Obama, Romney would not waste a second thought on using such a potentially out-of-context quote to tear down the man currently in the Oval Office. But in the spirit of fairness, here’s the full context of what Romney said: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, 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 context influences his apparent meaning quite a bit, so why does this quote seem like it could sting Romney? Because his image–and to a significant degree the reality of his past of leadership at Bain Capital–so perfectly fits the casting call of the smug, detached, super-rich guy who grooves on canning people.
Very quickly, Romney’s opponents for the Republican nomination–most notably Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry– jumped all over this obvious gaffe. Reflecting on their criticism and other tone-deaf Romney quotes about “being unemployed” and having previously been “[worried] whether I was going to get a pink slip”, Andrew Sullivan wrote, “Even the hardest of hardcore Republicans, like Perry, realize that this is now a populist election and their likeliest nominee is a plutocrat who stumbles every time he tried to relate to regular folks, and has a record at Bain that is a populist opponent’s dream.”
Romney can wear denim all over his body, but he will never come across as a ‘regular guy’. Because he’s not. His attempts only reveal what an incredibly desperate and cynical phony he is.
More on this and scores of other Mitt Romney quotes will soon be featured at a new web site I will be creating, www.mittquotes.com.
[photo: Mitt Romney (center) worrying about getting a pink slip, from Bain Capital and the Boston Globe]