Throughout his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney has touted his experience in the private sector. However his business record, particularly at private equity firm Bain Capital, is now a major target for Romney’s GOP rivals and Democrats alike, who assert his firm dismantled companies for the sake of corporate profit. Their attacks come alongside a gaffe Romney made at a New Hampshire event. "I like being able to fire people," he said, referring to being able to switch health insurance companies. The comments quickly went viral, from a ringtone repeating the soundbite on former Gov. Rick Perry's campaign site (the MP3 file has since been removed) to a "You’re Fired!" mash-up YouTube video released by the Democratic National Committee.
The Romney campaign responded that the comments were being taken out of the context. But the gaffe is just tip of the iceberg of the criticisms being launched at Romney that his business experience as a consultant and private equity investor did not create jobs, as Romney has boasted, but actually destroyed them. Laura Chapin compares Romney to George Clooney’s Up in the Air character, "a corporate hatchet man." The onslaught of Bain Capital related attacks he is facing from his 2012 opponents, she argues, "is laying down an effective emotional narrative for the Obama re-election campaign. Voters, as any pollster can tell you, decide how they feel about a candidate and once they have there's little you can do to change it.”
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