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Sunday, July 29, 2012

"I like being able to fire people..."

In the interest of fairness, here's some information about that famous Mitt Romney line. The context is not always reported, but PolitiFact has it:

Romney was specifically talking about the ability to get rid of your health insurance provider when you aren’t satisfied with its services.

"I want individuals to have their own insurance," Romney 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. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me."

So Romney wasn't referring to his work at Bain Capital -- or to the more general question of serving as a boss who has decided to fire employees of his company -- but rather the notion of switching service providers. He might as well have been talking about switching cellphone carriers or cable TV companies.
That's from January 11, 2012, so the main line has been percolating for some time. In fact, it was really more of an item during the Republican primary season.

Of course, this contextual information does not excuse the Romney campaign from its distortions of Obama's "You didn't built that" line.

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