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By MJ LEE
1/10/12 7:39 AM EST
Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that while Mitt Romney’s comment about liking the ability to “fire people” was taken out of context, it also showed what a “mess” a similar remark would be in a debate against President Barack Obama.
“Of course it was taken out of context. At the time I couldn’t imagine why anybody would have said what he was supposed to have said,” Gingrich said on Fox News on the day of the New Hampshire primary. “It wasn’t very well-worded — I think what he was trying to say was that consumers having the right to choose between competitors is dramatically better than a government monopoly controlling your life.”
Romney’s poorly chosen words, Gingrich said, raised a point about why he would make a better candidate than Romney.
“I think I can debate better than he can. I think I’m more careful in that kind of example. Imagine if he had said that in a debate with Barack Obama, what a mess that would have been,” he said.
Romney’s full comment on Monday about health insurance was as follows: “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to.”
Meanwhile, Gingrich told CNN later Tuesday morning he did not think it was hypocritical to have a Super PAC backing him after attacking Romney for ads during the campaign.
“I think you are faced with a reality if somebody decides that that’s what they’re going to do, if you unilaterally disarm, you might as well drop out of the race,” Gingrich said. “He’s decided that he would pin his entire future on shrinking his competitors rather than offering positive ideas.”