Mitt Romney was afraid to bring up Benghazi on the campaign trail after getting burned twice on it, but it was his inability to campaign after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast that may have doomed any chance he had of being elected president, says journalist Mark Halperin.
The revelations come from Halperin and John Heilemann's book, "Double Down: Game Change 2012,"
which is being released on Tuesday. It is a behind-the-scenes account of last year's race for president.
"Two times he felt burned by it," Halperin said Monday on Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor."
Romney called a press conference to criticize President Barack Obama's handling of the issue an hour after Ambassador Chris Stevens' death was announced. He was taken to task for that, and then was corrected by the moderator in the second presidential debate on the facts he had cited.
"After those two occasions he was never going to get near it again," Halperin told O'Reilly. "Every political person on his campaign said, the base cares about this
, but the polls say we won't win on this issue. You need to talk about the economy."
Still, Halperin said, Romney should have had a chance to win.
But when Hurricane Sandy hit, Romney and his campaign felt that anything he would look like he was trying to politicize a crisis.
Romney later said the hurricane was partly to blame
for his loss.
"He wanted to fly to New Jersey and try to go meet with people who'd been affected by the storm. They couldn't figure out something to do that they thought would work," Halperin said. "He had disappeared, and that may have cost him the election right there."
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