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Did Mitt Romney Really Say He Likes Firing People?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has faced increased criticisms over the last 24 hours in regards to his tenure at the firm Bain Capital, with many accusing him of being a corporate raider who destroyed jobs rather than created them.

At a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Nashua Monday morning, the former Massachusetts governor provided his critics a now-viral soundbite that falls in line with that criticism. He said, in part, "I like being able to fire people." But were Romney's words taken out of context? Some seem to think so.

Here are the remarks:

While recognizing that the “I like being able to fire people” quote will be taken out of context, Washington Post blogger and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart notes that the unforced error and look on Romney’s face when he says it "is right out of evil-boss-man central casting."

Still, fellow WaPo blogger Greg Sargent thinks the criticism is unfair:

Dems are jumping up and down this morning because, as Taegan Goddard puts it, they’ve “caught him on video saying he likes firing people.”

Let me go on record saying it would be misleading and unfair to clip the video in question in order to quote Romney this way: “I like being able to fire people.”

But what has been lost in Romney's remarks is the point he was trying to make about preserving choice in health insurance, which is clear when you read the entire "fire people" quote:

"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."

It's worth pointing out that this wouldn't be the first time that Romney has been involved in a context debate. Back in November he released an ad with a potentially damning Barack Obama quote. It was eventually found that Obama was quoting Republican John McCain at the time.

Romney's comments, even if out of context, are ill-timed considering a new DNC attack ad along with a the trailer recently released by Newt Gingrich's super PAC alleging that "When Mitt Romney Came to Town(with Bain)" jobs were lost.

Do you think the growing Wall Street Fat Cat and Heartless Corporate Raider-like accusations against Romney are working in slowing down the former Massachusetts governor's presidential campaign? Do you think they paint an accurate picture?

One last thing…
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