If Mary Matalin's remarks here are any indication, Republicans are really unhappy with Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry and the other GOP presidential candidates for breaking St. Ronnie's eleventh commandment and attacking Mitt Romney for his "I like
January 10, 2012

If Mary Matalin's remarks here are any indication, Republicans are really unhappy with Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry and the other GOP presidential candidates for breaking St. Ronnie's eleventh commandment and attacking Mitt Romney for his "I like being able to fire people" gaffe. I find her remarks ring pretty hollow considering that not long ago as Steve Benen noted, Mitt Romney shamelessly took President Obama's "words out of context, and changed the meaning of a sentence, for the sole purpose of misleading the public."

Now they're crying foul because the DNC is doing the same thing to him. Apparently Matalin and others don't believe turnaround is fair play.

Transcript via CNN:

BLITZER: Let's get to our "Strategy Session right now." Our CNN political contributors are joining us, the Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and the Republican strategist, Mary Matalin. They're joining us from New Hampshire.

Mary, this tough talk on Mitt Romney, it sounds like it could come from Democrats, but it's coming from Republicans. How does that make you feel?

MARY MATALIN: It has come from Democrats and Mitt Romney's right, and it's good practice for him. But for the Republicans to be doing is philosophically incoherent, intellectually dishonest.

I think it's shameful, other than Senator Santorum and Congressman Paul, they've been shameful on it. On the issue of firing people, if we don't have choice and competition, we don't have the kind of insurance that we've come to enjoy in this country.

That was 100 percent right. He's not an evil man looting companies. He saved companies and created jobs. I'm saying this as an unaffiliated person, but in philosophical incoherence and intellectual dishonesty will be a shame for some of these candidates to wear going forward.

BLITZER: It's pretty amazing when you think about it. Donna, it's not amazing that the Democrats are going after Mitt Romney, taking that one comment about liking to fire people totally out of context from what he said.

We played the whole clip about insurance companies, if they're not doing the job, consumers have the right to fire those insurance companies, but look at the DNC.

They have already come up with an ad just taking that one clip. I want to press you, you'll tell me the truth how you feel about it.


ROMNEY: I like being able to fire people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The good news is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fired, you're fired, you're fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fired. ROMNEY: I know why jobs and why they go.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to need your key card.

ROMNEY: I know how jobs are created and how jobs are lost.





ROMNEY: I understand how jobs come and how jobs go.


ROMNEY: I like being able to fire people.


BLITZER: You see how they took that one line. Are you comfortable with using that snippet out of its full context, Donna?

DONNA BRAZILE: You know, when Mitt Romney's campaign ran that ad a couple weeks ago, taking something President Obama said out of context, the Democrats were all up in arms. I said, you know what, this is the modern political world.

Look, Mitt Romney is running as a person who has created jobs. He's touted his private sector experience. He's contrasted it with Washington insiders, so there's no question that the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, should question his validity in terms of job creation.

He has a record at Bain Capital. We're going to use that record against him. We're going to look under the hood and kick the tires to see if it's factual or not. I don't think there's any foul play here, especially when the candidate himself said some of the things you just played.

BLITZER: Donna, if you had an insurance company that you were totally unsatisfied with not doing a good job for you, wouldn't you want to fire them?

BRAZILE: Wolf, let me say this. This is a presidential campaign. Mitt Romney has said some things that clearly it's coming back to bite him. He said things on choice, on gay marriage. You know, I keep telling people, I mean what Mitt Romney are we talking about? The '94, the Mitt Romney that ran for governor or Mitt Romney that ran for president in 2008 or the Mitt Romney today. So there are a lot of things out there on Mitt Romney.

He has a huge playbook that the Democrats will likely use against him. The Republicans decided that the coronation is over with. We're going to question his record on job creation.

We're going to credit his background in the private sector. It's fair play on the Republican side. It will be fair play if he becomes the nominee and President Obama has to run against him.

BLITZER: Mary, are you ready to ask the Republican National Committee, whoever gets the nomination to promise they won't take any of President Obama's comments totally out of context?

MATALIN: No. Wolf, that's a completely separate issue. These spots -- people are -- voters are increasingly impatient with this. They're smart enough. They can figure it out. What I would like the national party to do is to demand some philosophical coherence to why we are conservative, to not vilify capitalism.

I would like some of these candidates to talk about there can be no free markets or capital markets without virtue, without morality, and that's the evidence of our philosophy. So to do the dirty work of the Democrats by Republicans is offensive to me.

All this campaign stuff, looking at his record, all that is legitimate, goofy spots, it isn't being -- but we have to stay true to why we are conservatives. And the policy that is flow from it that will beat this president, because that's where the country is.

BRAZILE: The Republicans will have a difficult time painting President Obama -- painting a President who's cut taxes for small businesses being anti-business, when he's trying to give the incentives to create the kind of jobs we need to grow or economy.

BLITZER: It's one of the reasons why so many people are cynical and hate politicians, because both sides, they totally distort the other side, and that's just the nature of the business and politicians go ahead and keep on doing it, but we can discuss that philosophy on another occasion.

BRAZILE: And the media also plays the back and forth, and there are so many reasons why we know that the public is turned off from both make political parties, but the media has played a large role in that as well.

BLITZER: That's why there are so many, 40 percent of those voting in New Hampshire are calling themselves independents, because they don't want to be identified with the Republicans. They don't want to be identified with the Democrats. They want to be independent.

Guys, thanks very much. Donna and Mary will be with us throughout the night.

Can you help us out?

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