(Bloomberg Politics) — Tensions between Staples and President Obama reignited this week when the president slammed the store for reportedly limiting hours over the health care law. But this week's dust up was nothing compared to the 2012 election, when Staples was a symbol of the Mitt Romney economy: a Bain Capital success story, but also proof that trickle-down economics doesn't lead to decent pay for workers. 

BuzzFeed reported Monday that the company was threatening to write up or fire employees who worked over 25 hours a week, according to several employees. A Staples spokesman told BuzzFeed that the policy had been in place over a decade and was not tied to Obamacare's employer mandate, but last year the company sent out a memo on the "new policy" effective Jan. 4, 2014. Obamacare's employer mandate requires companies to pay for health care for employees who work at least 30 hours a week, or pay a fine.

During his interview with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith on Tuesday, Obama defended the Affordable Care Act and laid into companies like Staples.

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