Skip to main content

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney addresses supporters during his Wisconsin and Maryland primary night rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
Mitt Romney: Scrappy pauper presidential candidate!
Attention every journalist that is currently trying to write the definitive 2012 presidential campaign retrospective: We finally have the real reason that Mitt Romney failed in his bid to unseat President Obama. In fact, we get the answer straight from the loser presidential runner-up himself.

The answer? His penny-pinching, underdog campaign simply couldn't keep pace with the cash-fueled machine that was the Obama re-elect:

Talking about what went wrong, Romney said they didn't get the turnout from minority voters that they needed and he acknowledged his campaign was outmatched by his opponent's massive organization.

"I think he had as many as 10 times the number of ground workers, paid staff, that we had, because he could afford them and we couldn't," he said.

Your heart just bleeds for Romney, doesn't it? His scrappy band of underdogs just couldn't compete with the New York Yankees of political turnout operations. And why not? Because Obama could afford 10 times the ground troops, and Romney's threadbare campaign simply couldn't keep pace.

It's a touching story. It is also complete bullshit.

According to a campaign finance study by the New York Times, the GOP's big three (the RNC, the Super PAC Restore Our Future, and the Romney campaign) actually outspent the Democratic big three (the DNC, the Super PAC Priorities USA, and the Obama campaign) by about $6.3 million in the election cycle.

Both candidates enjoyed the benefit of just a shade under a billion dollars each spent on their behalf. Let's state what should be obvious (except, perhaps, to CNN, who inexplicably let Romney's asinine statement go unchallenged): Neither candidate was destitute in this campaign.

The issue was not that Team Romney's abject poverty denied them the ground game needed to propel the squad to victory—it was simply that Team Romney made it clear fairly early that they didn't give a damn about having a competitive ground game. The Atlantic's Molly Ball noted this two weeks before the election, when she noted, among other things, that Obama had 298 field offices in the three major battlegrounds (Florida, Ohio and Virginia), whereas Romney had ... 117.

And, of course, team Romney did throw a lot of cash at their ground game. The problem wasn't a lack of resources, as anyone following the story at the time well knows. The problem was glaring ineptitude. ORCA, anyone?

One cannot totally blame Romney for his somewhat comical attempt to rewrite history, positioning his campaign as the cash-strapped underdog. Shame on CNN, though, for an utter lack of skepticism at what has to be one of the single most idiotic snippets of post-2012 spin that we have read to date.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site