Romney Strategist Stevens Slammed by the Right

Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 11:50 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Republicans are raking Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist over the coals after he penned what’s being viewed as a rambling and smarmy opinion piece about the former Massachusetts governor’s staggering defeat.

In the Washington Post piece, Stuart Stevens assumes little blame for the campaign’s failure, instead complaining that “Romney was never a favorite of D.C.’s Green Room crowd or, frankly, of many politicians.

“That’s why, a year ago, so few of those people thought he would win the nomination. But that was indicative not of any failing of Mitt Romney’s but of how out of touch so many were in Washington and in the professional politician class.’’

He also boasted how Romney’s win among voters who earn more than $50,000 a year showed the campaign he helped devise was “doing something right.’’ And he labeled President Barack Obama “a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and a media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.’’

Stevens’ gripes have drawn major fire.

“If Stu Stevens’ private advice for Romney was as delusional as this op-ed, no wonder he lost,” Washington Examiner editorial writer Philip Klein fumed on Twitter.

Also on the warpath was GOP strategist Rick Wilson, who blogged: “Oh for effs sake. I just read the Stu Stevens piece and my BRAIN IS BURNING WITH FIRE.”

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart also savaged Stevens in his own scathing column.

“Stevens ignored the mistrust of Romney by the GOP conservative base,’’ Capehart said. “He ignored Romney’s shape-shifting qualities and inability to connect that rendered him suspect with regular people. He ignored the desire of vast swaths of the American people to be treated with dignity and respect by the man who would lead them ... Stevens’s op-ed ... shows that he reinforced Romney’s failings as a candidate.’’

Stevens’ piece apparently reinforces some Republicans’ long-held views that he was the wrong man for the job all along.

Politico reported last July that conservatives were worried about the “minimalist” nature of Stevens’ approach to the campaign.

That message was “a conservative, light-on-specifics, first-do-no-harm philosophy that seems to work best at navigating center-right candidates through tough primaries and seldom pushes the candidate out of his or her comfort zone,” Politico said.

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