Romney stumbles while clarifying stance on teachers, firefighters, police officers

Updated

Mitt Romney slammed President Obama on Friday for wanting to hire “more firemen [editor’s note: Mitt, they’ve been called firefighters for decades now], more policemen [editor’s note: Mitt, there you go again. It’s police officers! Are you a character from “Mad Men?”], and more teachers,” saying “did he (Obama) not get the message of Wisconsin?”

Just yesterday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a top Romney campaign surrogate, said there’s “wisdom” in his candidate’s comment that the nation doesn’t need any more teachers, police and firefighters. 

But during an appearance on Fox News this morning, Romney contradicted his own remarks, saying that the Obama campaign was making “a very strange accusation” when it claimed he didn’t want to hire more teachers.

“Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd.”

Then, Romney proceeded to double-down on his original point about Obama.

“He’s got a new idea, though, and that is to have another stimulus and to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states. It didn’t work the first time. It certainly wouldn’t work the second time.”

When our heads stopped spinning from Romney’s latest flip-flop-flip, we noticed that Romney made two critical errors (also known as a gaffes).

First, while the federal government does not specifically hire firefighters, police officers and teachers, their salaries are paid largely through federal aid.  

Secondly, Obama’s stimulus did work, creating and/or saving 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. 

Indeed, Obama’s stimulus bills contained billions in subsidies for state and local government to keep their employees on the job.  But much of that stimulus spending has run out, which is why public sector employment is declining and Obama proposed a new jobs stimulus bill months ago.

That bill, known as the American Jobs Act, which would create 1.9 million, according to Mark Zandi of Moody’s.  But Romney’s Republican/Tea Party/birther friends who run the House have blocked it. 

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Romney stumbles while clarifying stance on teachers, firefighters, police officers

Updated