Mitt Romney slammed President Obama last week for wanting to hire “more firemen, more policemen, and more teachers,” making a clear assertion that those workers belong among the 700,000 public sector workers who have lost their jobs in the last three years.
Romney’s campaign chair and other endorsers have backed him up on this desire to keep public employees out of work. But during an appearance on Fox News Tuesday 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:
KILMEADE: He says you’re out of touch. He says you want to cut firefighters and teachers, that you don’t understand what’s going on in these communities. What do you say to that, governor?
ROMNEY: That’s a very strange accusation. 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. 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.
Romney may be trying to rhetorically distance himself from his comments, but his policy position remains the same. And it isn’t just bad for America’s schools and public safety departments, it’s bad for the overall economy too. Replacing the lost public sector jobs would reduce unemployment by a full percentage point and make the economic recovery stronger.