Tags: Dick | Morris | Fox | contract

Dick Morris to CNN: Divorce From Fox 'Not Final, But I'm Seeing Other People'

Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 11:55 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Leading political analyst and best-selling author Dick Morris said on Wednesday that his contract with Fox News was not renewed because “I was wrong at the top of my lungs” in predicting a landslide presidential victory for Republican Mitt Romney.

“I had a wonderful talk with Roger Ailes [Fox's chairman], who I really respect, a week ago — and he said, ‘In this business, you’re up, you’re down. Nothing is final or fatal,’” Morris told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview. “I was wrong, and I was wrong at the top of my lungs.”

Citing former New York Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia, Morris said his mistake was admittedly "a beaut," but defended his record of political predictions.

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He also noted his long track record of electoral successes as a campaign strategist electing two U.S. presidents and 14 heads of state around the world, including Bill Clinton's surprise comeback re-election in 1996.

During his tenure at Fox, Morris recalled that he accurately predicted the election of George W. Bush in 2000, his re-election in 2004, the GOP's loss of both Houses in 2006, Obama's win in 2008, and the Republican landslide of more than 60 House seats in 2010.

Pressed by CNN's Morgan about his overly optimistic prediction of a Romney landslide, Morris said major polls had indicated either a Romney win or a close finish.

“I absolutely believed it — and so did a lot of people,” Morris said citing surveys by Gallup and Rasmussen Reports that had “predicted a Romney victory.”

Morgan seemed stunned when Morris cited CNN's own final poll taken two days before the election which had the race tied 47 to 47 percent.

Morris suggested that Hurricane Sandy was the critical factor for undecided voters.

“Nobody could tell the impact of Sandy," he said. "Fifteen percent of the voters had made up their minds in the last 72 hours before the election — and they cited Sandy as number one.”

He said his expectations for Romney ended up far off because he expected enthusiasm for Obama by Democratic voters to have waned from 2008 levels, as GOP energy to defeat Obama rose.

But the opposite happened, Morris said, as Obama voters came out in droves and more than 8 million white voters stayed at home and didn't vote for Romney.

Morgan pointed out that many Fox analysts and hosts had also predicted a Romney landslide and asked Morris if he was being singled out by the network.

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“I don’t know," Morris said. "Why don’t you invite them and ask.”

He added, with a chuckle, "Maybe I’m being made a poster child for that.”

Fox, which reportedly has left the door open for Morris to be a guest on the network, though without a contract, received praise from Morris.

“Look, Fox has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. Fifteen years, 3,000 interviews — and, at some point, the great marriage has to come to an end.

“Now, we’re not divorced yet. The divorce isn’t final, but I am seeing other people,” he added to laughs.

Appearing relaxed in a sports jacket and an open-collared Oxford shirt, the popular Morris offered his take on several issues:
  • Unless the Republican Party fundamentally changes to meet the challenges posed by changing demographics, “it will never win another election. These changes are fundamental, and we need to recognize them and adjust to them.”
  • The GOP should embrace the Rubio immigration plan. Latino voters are natural conservatives, but the GOP is frightening them. Hispanics are “a Republican voter base. But they feel that the Republican Party hates them.”
  • GOP legislators should remain committed to their core principles — smaller government, low taxes and reducing the nation’s debt.
  • Abortion. The GOP will keep its pro-life position, but should focus on reducing the number of abortions rather than overturning Roe v. Wade which Morris says won't happen any time soon.
  • On gay marriage Morris said individual states, rather than the courts, should decide on its legality.
  • Asked who should be the GOP candidate in 2016, Morris said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

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