Schieffer on CBS: Romney Firing Remark Just Shy of Saying 'Herbert Hoover is My Hero'

Bob Schieffer slammed Mitt Romney on Tuesday's CBS This Morning for his recent "I like to fire people" line, stating that he was "looking for every way he can try to lose and drive down his percentage of victory." He added, "I guess the only thing worse you could say...when people are out of work is that Herbert Hoover is my hero or something like that. It just boggles the mind."

Right after he harped about Romney's apparent incompetence, Schieffer slipped up himself when he confused Ron Paul, one of Romney's competitors, with Les Paul, an early pioneer of the electric guitar [audio available here; video below the jump].

The "Face The Nation" host referenced the former president after anchor Charlie Rose asked about the New Hampshire primary: "We have seen upsets before in New Hampshire- Hillary Clinton four years ago. Is anything happening on the ground that might surprise us?"

 

Schieffer immediately pounced on the former Massachusetts governor, and made light of the firing remark that, as correspondent Jan Crawford pointed out just minutes earlier, was being "taken completely out of context" by several of the GOP candidates:

SCHIEFFER: Well, other than Mitt Romney looking for every way he can to try to lose and drive down his percentage of victory. I mean, yesterday, this (laughs) 'I like to fire people'- I mean, I guess the only thing worse you could say is- in a time like this, when people are out of work, is that Herbert Hoover is my hero or something like that. (Rose and Schieffer laugh) I mean, it just boggles the mind. I mean, you know, his people are saying it was taken out of context. But, you know, when people are out of work, there's certain words you just avoid, and saying 'I like to fire people' is one of them, whatever context that was taken in...

Moments later, the CBS chief Washington correspondent made a gaffe as he talked about who might come in second in the primary:

ROSE: So is the question who comes in second, or the more important question, who comes in third?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the more important question, Charlie, is the- is whoever's second, is that just going to be bunched up among a bunch of people, because right now, you have a large segment of the party [who] just don't like Mitt Romney, but they can't find their champion. Some of them like Les- I mean, not Les Paul, Ron Paul-

ROSE: Ron Paul-

SCHIEFFER: Some of them- Les Paul played the guitar, of course- (Schieffer, Rose, and Hill laugh)

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Bob Schieffer segment, which aired seven minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Let me talk about New Hampshire. We have seen upsets before in New Hampshire- Hillary Clinton four years ago. Is anything happening on the ground that might surprise us?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, other than Mitt Romney looking for every way he can to try to lose and drive down his percentage of victory. I mean, yesterday, this (laughs) 'I like to fire people'- I mean, I guess the only thing worse you could say is- in a time like this, when people are out of work, is that Herbert Hoover is my hero or something like that. (Rose and Schieffer laugh) I mean, it just boggles the mind. I mean, you know, his people are saying it was taken out of context. But, you know, when people are out of work, there's certain words you just avoid, and saying 'I like to fire people' is one of them, whatever context that was taken in, and coming on the heels of saying a couple of times in my life, I worried about getting a pink slip. (laughs) You know, I mean, this is a multi-millionaire who's the son of a multi-millionaire. I think people here, you know, who try to go from paycheck to paycheck are wondering if that might be absolutely true.

But I think- at the end of the day, I think Mitt Romney is going to win here. If he doesn't win and win by a sizeable margin of victory- sizeable margin- he'd better just hang it up because this has got to be his best state. It's next door to the state where he was a governor. He has a house up here. So he's got to do well here.

ROSE: So is the question who comes in second, or the more important question, who comes in third?


SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the more important question, Charlie, is the- is whoever's second, is that just going to be bunched up among a bunch of people, because right now, you have a large segment of the party [who] just don't like Mitt Romney, but they can't find their champion. Some of them like Les- I mean, not Les Paul, Ron Paul-

ROSE: Ron Paul-

SCHIEFFER: Some of them- Les Paul played the guitar, of course- (Schieffer, Rose, and Erica Hill laugh)

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center