In New Hampshire Friday, Mitt Romney stumbled over a line about pinning the nation’s melancholy on President Obama that found him scrambling to back away from a quote suggesting Republicans are going to “hang” Obama with America’s problems in 2012.
“Uh, so to speak — metaphorically,” Romney quickly corrected, before adding, “you have to be careful these days, I’ve learned that.”
It was a standout gaffe from the first major candidate forum of the 2012 cycle in the Granite State, where Romney joined four other presidential hopefuls at an event sponsored by the tea party-fueling Americans For Prosperity group.
Blogger Kombiz Lavasany quickly picked up on the line, posting a truncated video of the moment to the Americablog site:
The moment came after Romney was asked about how to deal with the nation’s high energy prices. Here’s the full quote, transcribed from C-SPAN’s coverage of the forum:
Do you remember that during the Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter debates, that Ronald Reagan came up with this great thing about the Misery Index? And he hung that around Jimmy Carter’s neck and that had a lot to do with Jimmy Carter losing. Well we’re going to have to hang the Obama Misery Index around his neck. And I’ll tell you, the fact that you’ve got people in this country really squeezed with gasoline getting so expensive, with commodities getting so expensive, families are having a hard time making ends meet. So we’re going to have to do talk about that, and housing foreclosures and bankruptcies and and hire taxation. We’re going to hang him with that — uh, so to speak, metaphorically, with, uh, you have to be careful these days, I learned that — with an Obama Misery Index.