In the aftermath of President Obama's victory over Mitt Romney, there has been a lot of attention paid to how the Obama campaign successfully defined Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider. And most of the credit has gone to Obama campaign boss Jim Messina, who made a "grand bet" to saturate the summer airwaves with anti-Romney ads while the GOP nominee was still recovering from a drawn-out primary battle.Face it. The GOP Primaries was all about putting Mitt Romney's dirty laundry out there for everyone to sniff and we did. And there was no love lost for Mitt Romney among his fellow GOP Presidential Candidates, they just did not like him.
But this victory narrative misses a very large point: Messina's gamble was enabled by Newt Gingrich.
The problem with the Romney Campaign is that they really expected the Ronald Reagan "Eleventh Commandment" to be upheld and it was tossed out the window immediately.
"No one in the campaign believed that Republicans would attack business enterprise in a primary contest," explains a Romney campaign consultant who declined to be identified. "That was, in hindsight, a big mistake."
The first jabs came from Rick Perry, who accused Romney in an early January debate of being a "vulture capitalist." But the heavy artillery was manned by Newt Gingrich, who began accusing Romney of "looting" companies. More importantly, a super PAC supporting Gingrich released a 28-minute video titled "When Mitt Romney Came to Town" -- full of ominous music and tales of woe from workers at companies acquired by Bain Capital.
This mini movie was a real blue print to define Romney early and the Obama Campaign jumped all over it.
"By late summer there wasn't even one particular thing he did at Bain that really mattered anymore," the consultant says. "In fact, you didn't even have to say Bain. People just instinctively believed that he had outsourced people, fired people, not cared about people. It wasn't about what had actually happened, or about policy. It wasn't substantive. But it got the job done."Look, Mitt Romney had and still has plenty of skeletons hiding in his closets, but he just thought he could run for the highest office of this land without any accountability. He thought he could not answer questions about his tax issues. He should have known all this would come out and his campaign was not prepared.
In a nutshell, the Romney Campaign ran a shitty campaign. They sat up in the Republican Noise Bubble and did not see what was right in front of them. DEFEAT.