In the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s disastrous 2012 Republican presidential campaign CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie said this about Romney’s campaign team; “…in any logical universe establishment Republican consultants, such as Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior advisor Stuart Stevens and pollster Neil Newhouse would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs, such as American Crossroads.”
But the Republican establishment doesn’t live in a logical universe – it lives in a universe governed by cronyism and the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” rules that have made millionaires out of a handful of insider consultants who not only lose campaigns, but run them in a way that is almost guaranteed to fail, while lining the pockets of the consultants with millions in TV and media placement commissions.
Donald Trump knows a thing or two about winning, and he’s apparently no fan of Stuart Stevens, either.
When Donald Trump heard the rumor that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was planning to use Stuart Stevens and some of his Romney team for his own campaign, Trump tweeted his thoughts on Stevens Tuesday afternoon saying, “.@stuartpstevens did a horrible job for Mitt—is a refund in order? Sadly, Stuart is a disaster!”
Our friend Tony Lee of Breitbart reports that Trump later had this to say about Stevens on Fox News: “I think he did a terrible job for Mitt Romney, absolutely terrible,” Trump told FOX News. “That was a campaign that should have been won. I don’t know Stuart Stevens from a hole in the wall. I don’t know what he looks like. But I will say this, whoever ran that campaign, that is not the person I would want running my campaign if I were running.”
Trump drove the point home by telling FOX, “I think using Stuart Stevens and the group of people that so badly, I mean, so badly ran Mitt Romney’s campaign, I think it’s a disaster for Chris.”
Yes, it says a lot about the caliber of advice they dispensed that in the midst of the worst economy in 80 years Romney lost, as did a host of establishment Republican Senate candidates.
To most of these highly paid Republican insider political “strategists” the campaigns of Ronald Reagan are grade school memories. Growing-up in the rarified atmosphere of Capitol Hill, where most of them got their start in politics, they know only one way of winning: raise a lot of money from special interests and buy a lot of negative ads on TV... and earn themselves millions in ad placement commissions in the process.
And most importantly, don’t run as a conservative or take any socially conservative positions that might be at odds with those of the urban elites who dominate the mainstream media.
This advice derives from two sources – one grounded in greed and the other in ignorance.
Most of the Washington insiders who make-up the Republican establishment have a warped view of history, which seems to end on Election Day 1964 and the defeat of the modern conservative movement’s first Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater.
In this warped view of history, a conservative candidate can’t win because Goldwater lost in a landslide.
However, since 1964, when Americans are presented with a clear choice between the conservative Republican agenda, and the liberal Democratic agenda, the voters always choose the conservative agenda.
Part of Chris Christie’s appeal is that he’s a brawler with a reputation for telling it like it is and winning tough fights against special interests, like the New Jersey teachers union, so we have a hard time figuring out how a content-free Kumbaya campaign like the one Stuart Stevens ran for Mitt Romney helps Christie win.
But hey, if Mr. Viguerie’s 50+ years involvement in the conservative movement at the national level has yet to convince Christie and other establishment Republicans that running on conservative principles is the path to victory, perhaps Donald Trump’s pure market-based argument that Stevens is a disaster who owes Romney (or better yet his donors) a refund will.