In New Hampshire, Romney’s Comments Draw Fire From Rivals
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is under the microscope for his comments during a campaign appearance in which he said he liked "being able to fire people." Romney made the comments while he was talking about why he wants people to be able to choose their own health insurance.
ABC: Romney Likes 'Being Able To Fire People'
Mitt Romney, already under intense scrutiny for his leadership at venture capital group Bain, inadvertently gave his rivals new material today when he said that he likes "being able to fire people." The remarks came during a speech to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce this morning in which he was trying to explain that he would like people to have the option to pick and choose their medical insurance and get rid of plans that don't meet their needs. "I want individuals to have their own insurance," he said. "That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don't like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me" (Friedman, 1/9).
Reuters: Romney Defends Business Record From Republican Rivals
The former venture capitalist did himself no favors in the homestretch to Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary with remarks that sounded like he enjoyed firing people — and rivals were quick to seize on the unfortunate choice of words. When telling business leaders about how he wanted individuals to be able to choose their own health insurance, Romney said: "If you don't like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me" (Holland and McLure, 1/9).
Boston Globe: On Eve Of Primary, Rivals Intensify Attacks On Mitt Romney
Asked about his remark about firing people, Romney said he was trying to make a point about the value of free-market health insurance. "I don't want to live in a world where we have Obamacare telling us which insurance we have to have, which doctor we can have, which hospital we go to," Romney said. "I believe in the setting as I described this morning where people are able to choose their own doctor, choose their own insurance company. If they don't like their insurance company or their provider, they can get rid of it" (Levenson and Viser, 1/10).
New Hampshire Public Radio: Republican Presidential Candidates Make Last Push
Democrats and Republicans rivals Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman all piled on. So much so that at Romney's next stop in Hudson he called a press conference, his first since the Iowa caucuses, to defuse the matter. "I know free enterprise is on trial and we have a president who really doesn't believe in the rights of people to do that but I believe in the rights of people to get rid of an insurance company that they don't want" (Evans-Brown et al., 1/9).
Back in Washington, Obama talks tough during a speech to supporters —
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Obama Links Candidates And Lawmakers In Speech To Supporters
Mr. Obama, in an aggressive campaign speech, linked Republicans in Congress and those running in the presidential election, saying both would dismantle Medicare, rollback environmental regulations, lower the minimum wage and crack down on labor union organizing (Lee, 1/9).