In a statement that he probably already regrets, Mitt Romney told the audience at a Nashua Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning that “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”
Politico’s Reid Epstein reports that Romney was trying to explain the benefits of free market competition when he deployed the unfortunate line.
The full quote, on health insurance: “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to.”
Although Romney’s quote is innocent when seen in its full context, don’t expect his presidential rivals to pass up an opportunity to paint Romney as a heartless corporate raider who enjoys firing his employees.
Ben LaBolt, the spokesman for President Obama’s re-election campaign, is certainly excited about Romney’s slip-up. He responded to the quote via Twitter with a simple “!!!”