Romney adviser hits back at candidate's critics
November 28th, 2012
02:17 PM ET
10 years 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. Jean

    Sorry Stevens, the voters didn't like Romney either, he was just the only guy left standing out of a bunch of even worse losers. So no matter what you say, the reason Romney lost was clear. He never, ever, could convince us voters that he was on the same planet as we were. His eliteist attidude was clearly evident as demonstrated by his little talk recorded with his fellow millionaires at the famous luncheon. For instance, it is just great that he can write off so much money from his taxes and hide millions offshore, but the poor are lazy takers. He clearly has a real problem with class equality..

    November 29, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Davis

    It is not the end of the GOP. Get out of here with that notion. Won't happen. Polotics are cyclical. The Gop will come back and the Dems will anger the people and it will change all over again. Always does. And as long as the people remain brainwashed by this two-party system scam, it always will. Hegelian dialectics.

    November 29, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Bermille

    If you want to think that democrats were conflicted in 2000 then you will never understand what the problem is. The problem is the message, not the messenger.

    November 29, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. ritmocojo

    Reading many of these posts by GOPers about a "narrow loss" or "narrow victory", which ever way they state their denial that Obama clearly kicked Romney's hiney, are reminescent of 'Baghadad Bob' during the onset of 'Shock and Awe' in Iraq.

    November 29, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. david

    "a narrow lost"???
    What planet is this guy on? That why Romeny lost, because of people like this on his staff that is clueless!!!
    Here is a bulletin for you buddy, The president swept all the swing states!!!!!!! how is that a narrow lost?

    November 29, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Marc

    3 problems with the campaign:
    1. the Republican message promoting the false notion of takers vs. makers. Good strategy – let's halve the potential electorate that will vote for us.
    2. the Messenger(s) – Romney – a class (money) conscious snoot who cannot relate to the common man – in fact, he seems to have nothing but disdain for them. Paul Ryan – immature, dishonest sociopath.
    3. Romney was simply the best of the nut jobs running for the the GOP. He seemed to be the least scary of the lot, but really may have been the one who would do the most damage. He really seems to not have a conscience- a really shameless character.

    November 29, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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