Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard said Wednesday that the DNC had “never” taken Mitt Romney’s words out of context and specifically said the organization had not taken “I like being able to fire people” out of context.
Gaspard’s comments do not withstand scrutiny, however.
Here are three times Democrats and liberals took Romney’s words out of context:
1. “I like being able to fire people.”
At a January campaign event, Romney outlined why the free market system works for the consumer—it allows consumers to exit market relationships that do not satisfy them:
“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say, ‘I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.’ I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them.”
The DNC turned the one line into an entire, context-free ad:
2. “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
Romney said the emphasis of his campaign is the middle 90 to 95 percent of Americans, in an interview with CNN:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 to 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
The oft-repeated comment, part of remarks stating Romney’s focus on the middle class, made it into a “Good Morning America” clip three times.
3. “If they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy.”
Romney told donors at a campaign event that if their friends liked Obamacare and wanted more “free” things—while noting, “nothing is really free”—they should vote for President Obama:
“By the way, I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don’t give different speeches to different audiences all right. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy—more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free. It has to be paid for by people in the private sector creating goods and services, and if people want jobs more than they want free stuff from government, then they are going to have to get government to be smaller. And if they don’t want to repeal Obamacare they are going to have to give me some other stuff they are thinking about cutting, but my list takes Obamacare off first and I have a lot of other things I am thinking of cutting.”
Liberals seized on the comment, calling it, for instance, a “naked appeal to the ‘welfare queen’ brand of racial and class resentment.”
The context of Gaspard’s MSNBC appearance includes his June 28 Tweet on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare: “It’s constitutional. Bitches.”