Mitt Romney tried to play up his recurring theme of an Obama "misery index" at a GOP forum last night, but he's drawing attention instead for his choice of words that he immediately walked back. Noting that Ronald Reagan spoke of a similar index and "hung that around Jimmy Carter's neck," Romney said Republicans today must do the same to Obama. "We're going to hang him—uh, so to speak, metaphorically—with, uh, with, uh—you have to be careful these days, I've learned that, with an Obama Misery Index."
The Boston Globe noted it: "Romney almost immediately caught himself, with the English major declaring 'metaphorically' speaking, but the mix of nervous laughter with applause indicated at least some in the audience realized its potency," writes Glen Johnson. The Atlantic, ABC News, and Politico also picked up on it, prompting Romney's spokesperson to write: “It is not what the governor meant and that was very clear in what he actually said. It’s a ridiculous exaggeration of his actual comments.” Probably a safe bet that particular metaphor won't surface again, though.