Mitt Romney, looking to push back against his rivals' Bain layoff attacks and move on from his “I like being able to fire people” sound bite, is taking an empathetic tone in talking about job losses.
“I think any time a job is lost it’s a tragedy,” he told reporters on Thursday, per Politico. “For the family, for the individual that loses a job, it’s devastating. And every time that we invested in the business it was to try and encourage that business to have ongoing life. The idea of making a short-term profit actually doesn’t really exist in business because no one wants to buy something or buy stock in a company that’s going to be a short-term success. You want it to be long term. And when we invested we tried to make businesses more successful for the long time and hopefully, over time, generate a return to the shareholders and see more employment. That’s the whole idea. And I can say this, for the people in South Carolina, I’m very pleased that businesses like The Sports Authority added many, many more jobs in South Carolina and across the country.”
That “short term” argument is worth noting for later — while he appeared to be referring to Bain’s business model, the notion of short term gain in the finance and mortgage business over long term stability was central to the 2008 financial crisis.