Romney calls suggestions he wants cut teachers, firefighters ‘completely absurd'

ByHolly Bailey
June 12, 2012, 12:18 PM

— -- Mitt Romney says it's "completely absurd" to suggest he wants to cut back on the number of teachers, firefighters and police officers around the country.

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Romney dismissed Democratic criticism over his remarks at a campaign rally in Iowa on Friday in which he appeared to suggest the country could do without more public sector jobs.

"He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers," Romney said Friday, speaking about President Obama's efforts to expand government. "Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

The Obama campaign immediately seized on Romney's comments, releasing a video attacking the former Massachusetts governor for wanting to cut public sector jobs and being out of touch with the needs of American communities.

Asked about the Obama campaign's criticism by Fox News, Romney rejected their attacks.

"That's a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states," Romney said. "The federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that's completely absurd."

"It didn't work the first time. It certainly wouldn't work the second time," Romney told Fox News.

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