As returns came in late Tuesday night and Mitt Romney delayed conceding the presidency to incumbent Barack Obama, things were already in motion for the swift financial and structural dismantling of his campaign.
Romney staffers were faced with a late night shock Tuesday, when credit cards linked to campaign finances no longer worked, NBC's Garrett Haake reported Thursday
. Apparently more than one exhausted staffer had attempted to take a taxi home from campaign headquarters and ended up paying out-of-pocket for the fare when the cards were denied.
"Fiscally conservative," was all one aide could say the following morning, according to NBC news.
While some Romney campaign staffers might be complaining about the frugal ways at the end, his campaign spent close to $1.2 billion during the election cycle. Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization, which provided support to the Romney campaign, made calls Thursday to big-time donors attempting to explain the loss.
“Look, if groups like Crossroads were not active, this race would have been over a long time ago,” Rove said on Fox News Tuesday night. “President Obama came out of the box on May 15 with $215 million of advertising over a 2½-month period, designed to demonize Mitt Romney.”
“Obviously, somebody made a mistake and didn’t do things right. There’s no question about that,” Stan Hubbard, a Minnesota-based mega-donor told Politco after the election had been called.
Donors elsewhere were feeling slighted by the campaign’s approach.
“Everybody feels like they were a bunch of well-meaning folks who were, to use a phrase that Governor Romney coined to describe his opponent, way in over their heads,” an unnamed fundraiser for the campaign told The Washington Post. “Romney World will fade into the obscurity of a lot of losing campaigns.”
Not only had the Romney camp shut down credit cards as the votes were being tallied, the Secret Service was taking measures to disassemble its escort teams around the Romney family.
“Of all the indignities involved in losing a presidential race, none is more stark than the sudden emptiness of your entourage,” Marc Ambinder wrote for GQ.
Romney was driven away from his campaign headquarters by his son, Tagg; this was in stark contrast to the 15-car motorcade escort that led him earlier in the night. Later, as Romney and his family were safe and in bed, the Secret Service detail that had been escorting him since February, disappeared into the night.
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