Presidential candidate Ron Paul stepped up to defend capitalism in an interview with ABC News today, responding to attacks on his rival Mitt Romney’s career with private equity firm Bain Capital, and the willful misquoting of Romney’s remarks about the necessity of allowing people to “fire” health insurance companies that provide them with poor service:
“I think they’re wrong. I think they’re totally misunderstanding the way the market works,” Paul told me. “They are either just demogoging or they don’t have the vaguest idea how the market works.”
Paul also came to Romney’s defense for saying “I like to be able to fire people.”
“I think they’re unfairly attacking him on that issue because he never really literally said that,” Paul said. “They’ve taken him way out of context. … He wants to fire companies.”
In Paul’s view, Romney is right to say that he created jobs by restructuring companies.
” I think they’re way overboard on saying that he wants to fire people, he doesn’t care, Paul said. “You save companies, you save jobs when you reorganize companies that are going to go bankrupt. And they don’t understand that.”
(Emphasis mine.) ABC News should correct this piece immediately. The boldfaced line does not accurately quote Romney. Here are the two sentences that seem to have completely flummoxed so many reporters, even though Romney was speaking plain English:
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 like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Is that really so hard to render accurately, ABC News editors? The words you chopped off rather profoundly alter the meaning of what Romney was saying, don’t you think? Disagree with Romney all you like, but intellectual integrity demands quoting him accurately, without altering the clear meaning of his words.