Mitt Romney says he likes being able to 'fire people' who don't provide adequate business services. He said Monday that he wants to allow people to shop for their own health insurance and fire their health insurer if they aren't happy with it. (Jan. 9)
Mitt Romney has made the biggest slip-up of his campaign so far, saying he liked "being able to fire people", just as his opponents started rounding on him for the "predatory" nature of the private equity firm he ran for 14 years.
The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination had been on course for a comfortable win in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary following last week's narrow first-placed finish at the Iowa caucuses.
However, his apparently serene progress toward victory was threatened for the first time yesterday by an off-the-cuff remark during a chamber of commerce breakfast meeting that could hardly have been more ill-timed.
Just as allies of his main conservative rivals launched a multi-million dollar attack advert labelling him a heartless corporate raider, Mr Romney provided his opponents with a gift by saying the words "I like being able to fire people" during a question-and-answer session.
It came during an answer on how to bring down health care costs, when Mr Romney said he wanted individuals to buy their own health insurance rather than have their employer buy it for them. That, he said, would allow them to "fire" insurance companies they were unhappy with.
"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," he continued. "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," he said
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