Dickerson: Romney "sweating" over firing remarks

Mitt Romney campaigns in Bedford, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at McKelvie Intermediate School in Bedford, N.H., Jan. 9, 2012.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Mitt Romney's comments about how he likes "being able to fire people" likely won't keep him from winning Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, but it has provided fodder for rivals' attacks and could make the Republican frontrunner sweat a bit, CBS News political director John Dickerson says.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney said Monday. "If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say, 'You know, I'm going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.'"

Mitt Romney: "I like being able to fire people" for bad service

Despite the former Massachusetts Governor's double-digit lead over the other candidates, Dickerson said that Romney's remarks have had an impact, "to the extent that Romney is sweating it a little bit.

"He was talking about insurance companies and his response to being able to get rid of an insurance company as a private citizen. He wasn't talking about his business career," said Dickerson. "He came out and gave a hastily put-together press conference, tried to clean it up.

"But the pile-on that's going on about his business career at Bain - those remarks kind of fell into that.

"Will it hurt in New Hampshire? He's got a sizeable lead here. It's not going to hurt his chances. What everybody is looking for is how big of a victory will he have? That's what we're looking for tonight."

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Dickerson doesn't see any other candidate surging in New Hampshire: "No, not an Iowa-like surge here, except perhaps for Jon Huntsman. He's sort of the New Hampshire version of Rick Santorum. Santorum did the spade work in Iowa, finished strong at the end. Huntsman's done a lot of work in New Hampshire and is having a tiny surge, but in New Hampshire where Romney is so far out ahead, Huntsman is really going have to do very well to kind of have a bounce coming out of New Hampshire."

Watch Dickerson's observations above.