Rep. Michael Grimm, one of two Congressman who represent the Bensonhurst area and yet don’t even reside in Brooklyn, has apparently been spending time in ‘New Hampshah’ campaigning for Mitt Romney – and defending a statement by the Republican hopeful that his opponents are calling a gaffe, and defenders like Grimm are saying was clearly taken out of context.
On Monday Romney, talking about the ability to drop an insurance provider rather than be forced to buy insurance by federal mandate under President Obama’s healthcare plan (a plan ironically inspired by one Romney created while governor of Massachusetts), said “I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me.”
According to Politicker NY, the context of the quote isn’t stopping both Republicans and Democrats from jumping at the chance to label Romney as insensitive to those out of work during these tough economic times.
While critics are certainly taking the quote out of its original context, they are correct that Romney’s words might serve as a reminder to the public that Romney’s private sector career was spent as a corporate consultant – i.e. someone who gets paid very well to fire people.
“Yesterday, the Governor said something about firing people,” Grimm responded. “I think it was a very good thing because it’s honest and it’s real.”
While the candidate was technically talking about a situation where the average person might very well think firing someone – in this case their insurance provider – was a good thing, his choice of words may also betray the privileged position Romney has held his entire life, playing the role of the person who fires rather than the one who gets fired.
“Whether it’s Grimm, whether it’s Romney, if they have the lack of intelligence to say that it’s a good thing to fire people, it will make its way into campaign ads,” Kevin Elkins, a Staten Island Democratic operative told Politicker NY, who called it “shocking” that any elected official would say such something so “tone deaf.”