With the race called just minutes after all polls closed, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is on his way to a strong victory in New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary. But watch any of the cable channels and while they are talking about Romney, the conversation is about a topic that must be giving Team Mitt pause this evening.
Yesterday, at a Chamber of Commerce event in Nashua, NH, Romney, after being asked about healthcare, said in an extended response, “I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me.”
From almost the moment he uttered those words, Romney has had these words thrown back at him by everyone from the DNC to Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. The narrative for the last twenty-four hours has not been a positive one for Romney. And while he has come out of New Hampshire victorious tonight, these attacks are going to continue in states like South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada, whose economies are struggling.
And most of the attacks are taking his line out of context. Here is the video:
Going forward, these attacks are going to continue and as they permeate the conversation among non-political junkies, it will be shortened to the out-of-context quotation Romney’s opponents have already begun to trot out by claiming Romney said, “I like to fire people.” In a few months, the difference won’t matter.
The funny thing is that Romney pulled a similar move late last year. Except it was even more blatant – he took Candidate Obama quoting his opponent, Senator McCain, talking about the economy. When Team Romney was called on it, they obfuscated and claimed they were in the right. Here is the video:
This is what matters. Romney won tonight. He is most likely going to be the Republican nominee unless something crazy happens over the next few weeks. Some may say the willingness to do whatever it takes to win is the sign of a strong candidate. It isn’t. Romney’s ad is an indication that he will be grabbing at straws as a general election candidate. And that means he will end up being one of the weakest general election candidates we have seen in several election cycles.