Not even 24 hours since Mitt Romney lost to President Obama, the Republicans advisers have begun floating theories for why he failed to defeat a less popular incumbent in a weak economy. One anonymous Romney adviser to Mitt Romney blames not the issues, but the selling of them. "Turnout was the big problem, since we didn’t get all of McCain’s voters to the polls, but we really should have been talking more about Benghazi and Obamacare," the adviser tells National Review's Robert Costa. "Those are major issues and Romney rarely mentioned them in the final days."
But in a way, blaming radio silence on Benghazi means blaming Romney himself. According to The Washington Post's Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker, Romney didn't want to talk about Benghazi. After its political statement emailed to reporters right after the attack stirred up controversy over night, Romney held a conference call in the morning. "We screwed up, guys," Romney said, according to the Post. "This is not good." But he couldn't take back the statement, his aides said, because neocons would "take his head off." So he stood by his statement, but backed off the issue.
When the 47 percent video was made public not long after, "Among some of the senior members of the campaign, you found people slip into talking about the campaign in the past tense," a Romney adviser told the Post. Another thing that brought Romney down: other Republicans. According to the National Review's source, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "went out of his way to embrace the president during the final week of the campaign… It wasn’t necessary and it hurt us. Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Chris Christie undermined the Republican message."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.