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‘Oops’ and beyond: Notable quotes from 2012 race

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"We Irish call it malarkey," Biden added.


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"I like being able to fire people."

Yes, Romney said it. His critics quickly said it showed he was an out-of-touch elitist. But count this January statement among the many candidate comments in Campaign 2012 that were taken out of context. Romney was talking about the importance of individuals being able to choose among different health insurance policies when they seek coverage.

"That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them," he said.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me."


"You didn’t build that."

Yes, Obama said it. Republicans had a field day with Obama’s comments in July about what it takes to build a small business, claiming he thinks government should get the credit when a company succeeds.

But a fuller look at Obama’s remarks shows he was trying to make the point that the government plays an important supporting role in creating a stable environment in which businesses can thrive. As Obama went on to say, "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

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"Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

Biden distilled the Obama administration’s foreign and domestic policy achievements into a snappy motto that always brought a cheer from Democratic crowds.


"My expectation is that there will be some popping of the blister after this election, because it will have been such a stark choice."

Obama was trying to make the point in August that he might have more luck working cooperatively with Republicans in Congress in a second term, since his re-election would no longer be a factor. But his imagery was a bit too vivid.

Even deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter called it "disgusting."

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