Fmr. Crist spox Andrea Saul stuck having to defend (another) gaffe by Mitt Romney

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Mitt Romney stumbled over an explosive turn of phrase Friday night, telling an audience that Republicans would figuratively ‘hang’ President Obama with bad economic news, reports Alex Burns via Mike Allen’s Political Playbook.

Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity dinner, Romney’s comment came as he recalled Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. ‘Reagan came up with this great thing about the “misery index” and he hung that around Jimmy Carter’s neck,’ Romney said. ‘Well, we’re going to have to hang the ‘Obama Misery Index’ around his neck.’

…Romney continued, ‘We’re going to hang him that, uh’ before stopping mid-sentence. ‘So to speak – metaphorically. You have to be careful.’

…Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the former governor, said the context of Romney’s comment was obviously benign. ‘It is not what the governor meant and that was very clear in what he actually said,’ Saul wrote in an email.

The BostonGlobe’s Glen Johnson observed: “[T]he mix of nervous laughter with applause indicated at least some in the audience realized its potency.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.