Romney had to know he screwed up when he said he ‘liked’ firing people – that’s why it’s so damaging

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If I am Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s chief political consultant, I kidnap my candidate and lock him in a room for the next 48 hours. Otherwise, Romney is liable to say or do something the Obama Campaign can use against him in the fall.

Just look at :08 mark of the video – I’ve frozen the image above – in which Romney says he ‘likes’ firing people. He stutters for a couple of seconds, while looking down, because he knows he has put his foot in his mouth in a way sure to be played again and again in October.

Of course, this comment will be taken out of context. But Brad Phillips argues it doesn’t matter.

“Gaffes that reinforce an existing narrative about a candidate are almost always the most harmful ones, and Gov. Romney is already enduring increasing attacks from opponents and Democrats alike for being more of a job ‘cremator’ than job creator during his tenure at Bain Capital.”

As Michael Kinsley once said, a “gaffe” is when a politician tells the truth.

Romney’s comment is actually quite similar to John Kerry’s, “I voted for it before I voted against it.” The context didn’t matter and the damage was done.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.