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Mitt’s Latest Gaffe Isn’t One

Full context shows ‘I like being able to fire people’ line is perfectly reasonable.

EMMANUEL DUNAND / Getty Images

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire—Democrats immediately went on the attack this morning after Mitt Romney said at an event in Nashua that “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

Taken alone, it’s clear why the Democratic National Committee quickly posted a video of Romney speaking, and Obama for America Press Secretary Ben LaBolt retweeted it, adding three exclamation points in front of it.

But in context, Romney is being perfectly reasonable.

“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.”

As POLITICO’s Alex Burns notes: “The full context is obviously more benign, but it’s hardly careful language from a candidate under fire for participating in large-scale layoffs.”

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