Mitt Romney Says He Feared Getting 'Fired'

ABC News' Russell Goldman and Michael Falcone report:


ROCHESTER, N.H. - Mitt Romney attempted his own version of an "I-feel-your-pain" moment at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday, telling a crowd that like so many Americans he too has worried about getting fired.

"I know what its' like to worry about whether or not you are going to get fired," Romney said. "There are times when I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip."

The former Massachusetts governor, whose net worth is estimated to be in the range of $200 million, did not offer an example of one of those times, but Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul issued a statement:

"Unlike President Obama, Mitt Romney has spent 25 years in the real world economy. As a young person just out of college, he worked his way up the career ladder knowing that his continued employment was by no means guaranteed," Saul said. "That's the way it is in the private sector."

Romney made the comments while explaining how his experience as a business sets himself apart from President Obama.

"I care very deeply about the American people, and it frightens me  to see a president who has made so many mistakes when so many people were hurting so badly," Romney said.

His remarks come on the same day that Romney said at an NBC News-Facebook presidential debate that his father offered him advice on getting into politics.

"He said, 'Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage.'"

Romney's everyman pitch took place at a opera house in a southern New Hampshire town, and it's not the first time the presidential candidate, who is leading in the polls here, has tried to identify with the problems of working-class Americans.

At a campaign event in June in Tampa, Florida, he told an audience: "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed."

Back then, Democrats pounced on the statement. They did so again on Sunday.

"Romney admitted in one debate that he'd never known hardship or had to worry about paying a bill," Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement to ABC News, "but now that his past as a corporate layoff specialist is being exposed he wants to make people believe he feels their pain. That dog won't hunt."

At a December ABC News debate in Iowa, Romney was roundly criticized as being out of touch for attempting to make a $10,000 bet with rival candidate Rick Perry over a dispute about whether he changed a line in his book, "No Apology."