Yesterday at CPAC Pat Caddell electrified the crowd with a stinging critique of the Romney presidential campaign.
Formerly Jimmy Carter’s pollster, Caddell has consistently found fault with Barack Obama.
Others have critiqued the Romney campaign. Caddell described it as a monument to political ineptitude.
Breitbart.com reported on his talk:
Caddell left no doubt he is not an admirer of Mitt Romney's campaign management skills. He called Romney "the worst executive I've seen" when it comes to leading a political campaign. Romney's failure to attack Obama's Benghazi debacle during the foreign policy debate was "cravenness" that came about because his consultants told him "we don’t want to look warlike."
Caddell also said Romney failed to back his campaign with his own money when it was most needed. "My question for Romney is, you spent $45 million [of your own money] in your 2008 campaign where you didn't have a chance. Why didn't you give your campaign a loan in the spring instead of letting Obama define you?"
Romney, Caddell said, was not on top of his game when he failed to anticipate attacks based on his business career. "You didn't know Bain was coming? Ted Kennedy used it against you." Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in the 1994 Senate election in Massachusetts.
Caddell was equally caustic in his evaluation of the Republican consultants who managed Romney's campaign. "Of course this election could have been won. It should have been won," he said. "The Romney campaign was the worst campaign in my lifetime except for ninety minutes [in the first debate] thanks to Barack Obama."
"There was a failure of strategy, a failure of tactics, a massive failure of messaging. Most of all there was a total failure of imagination." Caddell singled out Stuart Stevens, a key figure in Romney's campaign, in a particularly withering critique. "Stevens had as much business running a campaign as I do sprouting wings and flying out of this room," he said to an audience that applauded.
Caddell said that Romney inexplicably allowed Obama to define him without fighting back. If Obama had a 50% favorable rating on election day, he had an 80% chance of winning. If he had a 45% favorable rating on election day, he had a 90% chance of losing. On election day, Obama's favorable rating was 51% because, Caddell said, "Republicans failed to hold him down."
"A majority of the people wanted to repeal Obamacare, [an issue that] the Republican Party abandoned," Caddell noted. He added that "on the issue of bigger or smaller government, one-third of the people who want smaller government voted for Obama."
In fairness, there was never any mystery about why the Republican Party abandoned the fight on Obamacare or why the Party failed to capitalize on its belief in small government.
They nominated Mitt Romney.