Romney says 'firing' remark misinterpreted

Jan. 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM
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HUDSON, N.H., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney tried to mitigate damage Monday from a comment about liking to "fire people," saying the comment was taken out of context, which he expected.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who headed a private equity firm that sought to turn around troubled companies, said he was talking about President Obama's healthcare plan and that political opponents were doing pretty much what he thought they'd do, The Hill reported.

"As you know, I was speaking about insurance companies and the need to be able to make a choice," he told reporters after an event in Hudson, N.H., the day before the states' primary. "You saw I was talking about insurance companies. We like to be able to get rid of insurance companies that don't give us the services we need. I don't want to live in a world in which we have 'Obamacare' telling us which insurance we can have to have, which doctor we can have, which hospital we have to go to."

Speaking to the Nashua Greater Chamber of Commerce, Romney said, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," adding if he isn't getting a "good service, I want to say, I'm going to get someone else."

Republican rivals and Democrats pounced on his comment, The Hill said.

"Things can always be taken out of context and I understand that that's what the Obama people will do," Romney said.

National and state polls indicate Romney holds a comfortable lead, although he has slipped somewhat of late.

At a campaign stop in Manchester, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas cut short his meet-and-greet at a diner amid a media crush, The Hill reported.

Reports indicate Paul could barely move through the diner, which was crammed with reporters and videographers, ignored questions thrown at him but offered a few autographs to supporters.

"Guys, you've got to take it easy," a Paul staffer asked the media representatives.

Paul's campaign staff ushered the 76-year-old candidate into a sport utility vehicle just minutes after he arrived.

At least one person was upset that Paul left without meeting voters he was counting on at the ballot box Tuesday, The Hill said.

"It's the people of New Hampshire he's supposed to meet," Karen Hiller said.

During his meeting with the Nashua chamber, Romney said he thought Congress should have term limits, The Hill said.

"I would love to see term limits for congressman and senators. We have one for the president. It's a good idea," he told business executives at the breakfast event.

Romney didn't indicate the parameters of the term limits and his campaign did not respond to an e-mail asking for clarification.

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