Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.
Mitt Romney on Monday gave his critics fresh ammunition in the form of a stump speech that included these words: "I like being able to fire people."
Of course, the GOP front-runner wasn’t speaking of his time at Bain Capital—which has come under increasing scrutiny from his GOP rivals (not to mention Team Obama)—but instead of his plan to allow individuals to choose their own insurance provider, an idea most Republicans are onboard with.
Here was the full quote (which, we’re guessing, will be cut down to seven words and used along with a private equity reference or two in the attack ads that are already likely in the works): "It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them," Romney said in New Hampshire. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."
Romney added: "You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say, 'You know, I’m going to get someone else to provide that service to me.' "
The New York Times reports that Jon Huntsman appears to have been the first to seize on Romney's words. "It's become abundantly clear over the last couple of days what differentiates Governor Romney and me," the former Utah governor told reporters. "I will always put my country first. It seems that Governor Romney believes in putting politics first."
And then the big finish: "Governor Romney enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs."