Romney team: No alternate meaning of 'hanging' comment at candidate forum

A comment about figuratively "hanging" President Obama with poor economic news has no alternate meanings, a spokeswoman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said Saturday.

"It is not what the governor meant and that was very clear in what he actually said," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to The Hill on Saturday. "It's a ridiculous exaggeration of his actual comments."

At the conservative Americans for Prosperity dinner on Friday, Romney, a highly likely presidential candidate, referred to the so-called "misery index" Ronald Reagan used to criticize President Jimmy Carter's economic record -- a familiar theme in Romney's nascent campaign -- but the former governor tripped on his words. 

"We're gonna have to hang the Obama misery index around his neck, and I'll tell you the fact that you've got people in this country really squeezed with gasoline getting so expensive, with commodities getting so expensive; families are having a hard time making ends meet. So we're gonna have to talk about that," Romney said. "And housing foreclosures and bankruptcies and higher taxation -- we're gonna hang him with that..."

Quickly realizing how he phrased the statement, Romney walked his own words back saying, "So to speak, metaphorically with -- you have to be careful these days. I've learned that."