Romney's comments may cause him future woes

January 9, 2012 8:26:26 PM PST
By this time Tuesday, we'll have a good idea of which Republican candidate will win the nation's first primary.

It is not breaking news to report than an hour before the first votes are cast, Mitt Romney will win New Hampshire's primary. He's ahead by close to 15 points, and unless polls don't open in the morning, he'll do just fine.

But on Monday, he potentially caused himself some real problems going forward.

Right now, Romney is well ahead of the pack and that's made him the target of every other candidate. And tonight, a slip up he made is giving them plenty of fresh ammunition.

It's been a tough day for front-running Romney.

"How about instead of shouting, why don't you say what you mean?" he told Occupy protestors.

As he tried to close out what will be a successful New Hampshire campaign, Occupy protestors shouted him down.

Earlier in the day, he didn't need any help to throw his campaign off track. Trying to tell voters they should be able to pick their own health insurance carrier, he stepped in it.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney said.

It was the opening his opponents have been waiting for.

"I am not into firing people," GOP candidate Rick Santorum said.

It's beginning to be a pile-on. At an appearance Sunday in New Hampshire, Romney said he knew what it was like to fear losing your job.

"I know what it's like to worry whether you're going to get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I would get a pink slip," he said.

But coming from a man who hired and fired thousands of people as a venture capitalist, it may not be easily understood.

"His company Bain Capital, with all the jobs that they killed, I'm sure he was worried that he'd run out of pink slips," said Gov. Rick Perry, who's also in the GOP race.

Romney's opponents see the remark as a way to dent his front runner's armor, portraying as an out-of-touch millionaire who doesn't realize what it is to get a job in today's rocky economy.

Later this week, Newt Gingrich supporters will start spending $3 million on negative Romney ads in South Carolina. Tonight, Romney is likely looking forward to staying out of trouble until celebrating his expected win in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

"Things can always be taken out of context and I understand that that's what the Obama people will do, but as you know, I was speaking about insurance companies," Romney said.

Tuesday's primary isn't expected to weed out some candidates. Most of them say they plan to move on to South Carolina, whose primary is only 12 days away.