It can be because you’re trying to be empathetic. It might me because you’re playing for time. Whatever the reason, it’s a dangerous habit to echo back the words of the question. Say a leading question is put suggesting your organisation is in the wrong. This requires a clear rebuttal. But some will echo the accusation in their response:
Q:“ surely the number of job losses you’re making shows you’re putting shareholders before people’s welfare…”
A: “ we’re not putting shareholders first what we’re doing …
The damage has been done. No matter how good your defence is, it’s undermined by that reinforcement of the accusation – which you could have avoided. A simple ‘ “That’s not the case” will suffice to get your fight back off to a firmer start.