Romney adviser hits back at candidate's critics
November 28th, 2012
02:17 PM ET
1 year ago

Romney adviser hits back at candidate's critics

(CNN) – As Republican post-election musings point fingers at perceived short-comings by the former Republican nominee Mitt Romney, his campaign and the GOP as a whole, a top Romney adviser staunchly defended his candidate and warned against Republican infighting.

"Over the years, one of the more troubling characteristics of the Democratic Party and the left in general has been a shortage of loyalty and an abundance of self-loathing," wrote chief Romney strategist Stuart Stevens in an op-ed in the Washington Post Wednesday. "It would be a shame if we Republicans took a narrow presidential loss as a signal that those are traits we should emulate."

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Stevens asserted that while Romney was not a Washington favorite he managed to win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, inspired voters.

"Nobody liked Romney except voters," he wrote in the op-ed. "What began in a small field in New Hampshire grew into a national movement. It wasn't our campaign, it was Mitt Romney."

"When Mitt Romney stood on stage with Barack Obama, it wasn't about television ads or whiz- bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas versus fundamental Democratic ideas. It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom. And Republican ideals – Mitt Romney – carried the day."

Stevens ticked off a series of Romney's accomplishments - from the former Massachusetts governor's fundraising supremacy to his commanding performances in the debates as well as defending conservative economics. He argued Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate, despite worries the GOP budget engineer's proposal would turn away seniors, changed the fundamental debate on entitlement reform.

While acknowledging his party's setbacks, Stevens' op-ed fell short of providing a remedy or explanation for the GOP's failure to grab the Oval Office, instead urging conservatives to continue pushing forward.

"The Obama organization ran a great campaign. In my world, the definition of the better campaign is the one that wins," wrote Stevens. "Losing is just losing. It's not a mandate to throw out every idea that the candidate championed, and I would hope it's not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire."

Stevens himself faced criticism in the heat of the campaign season following a glaring report from Politico revealing tensions among Romney's top advisers and blaming Stevens for some campaign mishaps at the Republican National Convention.

–CNN's Jim Acosta and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. stevetall

    Just one more deluded Romney clown. Why is it that none of these guys can take a good, long look in the mirror and realize that the reason they got stomped in the election is that they are so out of touch with reality and the America spirit in general? In another time, these are the same people who would be first to jump on the bandwagon for a right-wing authoritarian dictatorship. That's right, you heard right. These dips would have been Adolf's staunchest supporters. Well, we don't go for that in America, so shape up or ship out!

    November 28, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Maybe he'll go home after the President feeds him.....you think?
    We can hope.

    November 28, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You sucked.
    You lost.
    Go home already.

    November 28, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Arun

    The repubes lost because nobody liked their ideas and because their boy didn't really talk about what he would do if he had won. All the Romney campaign did was lie and attack. We, the people, don't really give a crap. We want to know what you, the candidate will do to help us!!

    November 28, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "I would love to know just what exact freedoms romney was offering. "
    --------------------
    #freedumb

    November 28, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. rp

    "While acknowledging his party's setbacks, Stevens' op-ed fell short of providing a remedy or explanation for the GOP's failure to grab the Oval Office, instead urging conservatives to continue pushing forward" really?????
    HE WAS A LIAR!!!! I have been a republican for 45 years and I could not bring myself to vote for Mr. Romney.

    November 28, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Thomas

    This news is more useful .

    BP is temporarily banned from new US contracts due to a "lack of business integrity" over the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the US environment agency says.

    BP should pay for there mistake in the Gulf before returning to business as usual .

    November 28, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Laurie in Spokane

    Oh my, such rationalization on the GOP loss. Romney got the nomination not because he was so good, so inspiring, and such an all-round good guy, but because there was absolutely no-one else the handlers thought could beat Obama and because the others running for the nomination managed to show their true natures, and lack of intellect – Bachman and the immunication causing sickness – bah, Perry not remembering things, Cain with his extra marital affair and not understanding foreign policy. Better people yes, but able to beat Obama? NO. Republicans don't actually LIKE Romney, but he was the best they could offer, and, it wasn't enough was it?

    November 28, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. tammy lambert az

    LOL...a narrow presidential loss, Democrats were like a well oiled machine that steamrolled right over the Romney campaign.
    As far as self loathing, I hardly think any Dems are self loathing now!
    I do agree about boasting and slamming Romney after they lost, it will just cause the GOP to feel hatred and not want to compromise. John Mccain does need to sit down and let people get to work, he is like a albatross around Americas neck.

    November 28, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    freedom wrote:

    Totally agree!! A man of honor, intelligence, and integrity. No one can tarnish that.
    -----------------------
    Ha! Mitt Romney did whiz bang, wonderful job of tarnishing hsi own reputation. He even did credible job of tarnishing the reputations of 47% of the electorate. He ran his campaign just like he would run conduct himself in elected office, like a man out of touch with regular people.

    November 28, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. somebody

    @Sniffit

    "I would love to know just what exact freedoms romney was offering. "

    Freedom from minority voters influencing election results.
    Freedom from having to compete with poor and minorities, who would be imprisoned in a static economic caste system.
    Freedom from having to make any sense.
    Etc. The list is pretty long actually, and kinda fun to make.

    How about: Freedom from telling the truth. Our campaign won't be dictated by fact checkers.

    It turns out making this list is fun :-)

    November 28, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. DougW

    ROFL, even when they are admitting they did something wrong, they have to claim that "Democrats do it too, but even more so"! What a bunch of tools!

    November 28, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Phyllis G Williams

    Re Americans against Health Care Coverage

    "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers..Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God,
    and...shall receive damnation" ..he is the minister of God to thee for good" (Romans 13)

    November 28, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. AnAmerican

    Enough of the talk about the election. It is what it is.
    NOW it is time to see if the elected president will stop blaming everyone and everything and step up and show he is a leader. I'm afraid the lead from behind, take creidt for the good even if he wasn't involved and blame others for the bad.
    Step up and lead Mr. President.
    Years from now no one will know who the leader of the house was, but will know the failure was under your watch.

    November 28, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. freedom

    @ Rudy NYC I have every right to state that Romney is a man of honor, intelligence, and integrity. I can also state that our current president does not have these traits. He manipulates, lies, and threatens the people of his own country, like a dictator. Any president would be less invasive on our freedoms than this one, and especially an astute, stellar business success, like Romney – he understands the economy – another trait the current president lacks. Or is it that he just wants to see America implode?

    November 28, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    None of this matters. The election is over. The winner is supposed to demonstrate leadership. Still waiting for him to take off the campaign hat and to ensure the negotiating necessary for the good of the country occurs before the cliff. Pontificating, finger waving and posturing as an angry man isn’t setting the tone necessary for them to come to the table and do what needs to be done for the good of us all. He can get what he wants, but he has to be mature enough and skilled enough to give everyone room to come out as a winner in the final deal. If he wants to be the leader…he doesn’t have a choice. Still waiting…

    November 28, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. V

    Mitt Romney lost because he was a liar and was called out on it several times. He refused to be transparent (tax returns anyone?) He had no real plans or solutions to our problems, just a grand idea that he could get Washington to work with him to get things done. (Boss mentality – except it doesn't work that way in Washington.) He may know how to raid businesses and make a profit, but this time he tried to raid the American Voters and we showed him where to put his "profit". Seems to me like he has a big case of grandious ego.

    The Republicans just can not and will not accept that the people of this Country voted Barak Obama in as President, not once, but twice. It's killing them. They thought they would be able to create enough hate for the man that people would actually forget about all their mistakes and lies and vote for them. News for you, GOP – we're not stupid. We saw you and you "stellar" candidate for exactly what he was – a liar – and we decided we wanted a man in the office we could trust and believe in. Denial, denial, denial. That is all the Republicans have done since the election and if they keep this up and do not work with the President on the fiscal issues, there will be less Republicans in Washington come 2014. The American People are fed up with these so-called leaders acting like children!!

    November 28, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. DENNA

    "Stevens asserted that while Romney was not a Washington favorite he managed to win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, inspired voters."
    ....................................................................................................................................................................................
    Yeah. He ultimatelhy inspired voters to vote for Presiddent Obama. His candidacy was good for our side. Don't worry about what the Democrats do. Apparently they got it right. You need to eliminate the crazies from the GOP. If you can do that, maybe you will find yourselves again. Just an observation: The Tea Party and buckets full of money didn't do you much good, did it. Maybe you should try running on, oh, say, THE TRUTH INSTEAD OF TRICK AND LIES. Just sayin'.

    November 28, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. harvey 60

    Please, oh pleeeze, keep going as far right as you can so the Republican Party can never ever win a presidential election again. Nominate Santorum, or Bachmann, West, DeMint, any teabagger, just don't ever nominate a moderate candidate who could win.

    November 28, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Charlie

    Democrats have "an abundance of self-loathing"? What on earth is he talking about? It's the GOP that has repeatedly stabbed its own respected leaders in the recent past (Lugar, Bennett, etc.). And he says that in the presidential debates, "Republican ideals – Mitt Romney – carried the day" - really? With whom? President Obama won in an electoral college landslide (yes, landslide - because many Republicans were saying before the election that 330 electoral votes for Romney would be a "landslide"). What a parallel and disfunctional universe the GOP lives in!

    November 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Larry in Houston

    after reading post after post, after post – LOL – bottom line is this : I hope it goes "over" the cliff – and see what happens – believe me, 2014 mid-terms couldn't come soon enough. Boehner is going to end up taking them all down – because he is still catering to the tea party people. LOL – This guy needs to go back to Ohio – LOL – You'd think he would know that his party lost the election – but for some odd / unknown reason, they think that they can continue to "obstruct" and continue to fight . Hope they go home to their constituents – during the Holidays, and do some soul searching, and start talking to people in their districts. hopefully they will come back with a different attitude after Jan 1st.

    November 28, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Barbra K

    Romney lost the election. I cannot speak for anyone else who did not vote for him, but, I didn't vote for him because I never liked him or his ideas.On the debates he thought he was a success because he spoke so fast and rambled on.. He impressed me as a Marketing candidate who just had to hold the floor. In this article it was mentioned that he lost the election by a very small margin. By all reports it was 2 million more votes, plus 3 million more votes than John McCain's loss was to Obama's first victory. Al total: 5 Million votes less than Obama. That's a small margin?

    November 28, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Canuck

    @Gurgyl

    @Arun
    The repubes lost because nobody liked their ideas and because their boy didn't really talk about what he would do if he had won. All the Romney campaign did was lie and attack. We, the people, don't really give a crap. We want to know what you, the candidate will do to help us!!
    -----------–
    How about helping yourself instead of standing around with your hand out waiting for the government to burp you.
    -----------–
    So, what do you think about the corporations that get huge amounts of government dollars in tax breaks etc – is the government burping them too, or is that OK? Please explain....

    November 28, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Publius Novus

    Mr. Stevens: You may have convinced yourself that the election was close, but like many of your statistical miscalculations in the election, you are operating in a fantasyland. The President won a lopsided 332-206 electoral vote victory, while corraling 51.2% of the popular vote to Mr. Romney's 48.8%. Tellingly, outside of the South, Mr. Obama won a landslide proportion of the popular vote of 55%-45%.

    November 28, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Hey Gurgyl, I urge you to take your own advice: "How about helping yourself instead of standing around with your hand out waiting for the government to burp you." Facts show that you red staters are the queens of the government handouts. Spend some time with the dictionary and look up the word H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y, you poor confused LOSER.

    November 28, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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