RomneyBot Meltdown: Said to Be ‘Shellshocked’ By Loss

On “Morning Joe” today, David Frum, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush, was asked to describe the campaign message of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in the campaign this year:

FRUM: Mitt Romney’s message is, I am going to take away Medicare from everybody under 55. I’m going to cut Medicaid for everybody by about a third. And I’m going to do that in order to finance a giant tax cut for me and my friends. And the reason I’m doing that is because half the country contributes nothing to our national endeavor. That’s his message.

The biggest surprise is that Romney himself is said to have been “shellshocked” when he learned that voters rejected his message on Election Night:

Mitt Romney’s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.

Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

They just couldn’t believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren’t: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn’t settled, so campaign aides decided to wait. They didn’t want to have to withdraw their concession, like Al Gore did in 2000, and they thought maybe the suburbs of Columbus and Cincinnati, which hadn’t been reported, could make a difference.

But then came Colorado for the president and Florida also was looking tougher than anyone had imagined.

“We just felt, ‘where’s our path?'” said a senior adviser. “There wasn’t one.”

Romney then said what they knew: it was over.

His personal assistant, Garrett Jackson, called his counterpart on Mr. Obama’s staff, Marvin Nicholson. “Is your boss available?” Jackson asked.

Romney was stoic as he talked the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan’s wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.

“There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”

Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.

Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.

“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.

There will be a lot of analysis about why the Romney team was so surprised that they lost. The reason, ultimately, is that they sealed themselves in the Fox News/right-wing media bubble along with all their supporters and so had no idea what was going on in the real world.

Let’s hope that the Republican leadership and its future candidates stay in that bubble and continue to attack and alienate all Americans who are not elderly white men — and, as a result, continue to lose. Keeping them inside their bubble may be America’s best hope.


  • Jane Chance
    November 9, 2012 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand all these pundits from the left, pointing out all the mistakes the Republicans made. Let them figure it out for themselves.

  • mbaker
    November 9, 2012 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

    agree w/ comment above. I found it interesting, and a bit disconcerting, to listen as the entire Obama campaign strategy was explained on multiple media outlets. Let’s face it, the GOP may have come up short this time, but figuring out how to maximize the money (and there is endless amounts of it) and time in the future is a pretty strong probability-why help them do it?

    As for being “shellshocked”, as Pres. Clinton said, it’s all about arithmetic-the math based polling sites had Pres. Obama in the lead continuously and the Romney campaign w/ no substantive momentum ever.

    Facts are such a problem w/ some folks.

  • GarryInNola
    November 15, 2012 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Romney’s team dismissed even the mainstream media, other than Fox News which really isn’t mainstream and is a poor example of journalism at all. What is really heartening is that in spite of all the voter suppression in the form of reduced hours for early voting and not enough voting stations in precincts which led to incredibly long lines in areas where Obama was likely to win, the voters stood their ground and waited for extradinarily long periods of time to vote anyway in defiance of the suppression.

  • Patrick Wm. Connally
    November 15, 2012 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I am a plus 62 white guy who voted for the President twice and my biological decendents are not according to liberal labeling of people. I am rather shocked by label voting anaylsis of the left. I grew up near Oakland, CA, there were African American families with wealth whose interests would be more with Republicans than Democrats. This is not to say most African American get a great deal, it is to say the Democrats to keep the edge, might want to get over their liberal prejudice or labeling of different kinds of voters. Is this America for everyone or for the popular labels? Is America for liberal white disabled guys who work for a fair shake for everyone?

  • Duane
    January 1, 2013 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    The pathetically incompetent Obama didn’t win…
    The NON-WHITE won….

    Due to the continued progressive democrat packing & invasion of America by non-whites… HOW could a White male ticket ever win the Republican presidency ever again?
    The democrats pack the country with non-whites…Borrow trillions of dollars (with Whitey’s signature on the loan….)and pay the non-white (legal and illegal) invaders for votes…(YES!!!Illegals DO Vote!!! that’s why the democrats are screaming RACISM about showing ID at the polls….).
    What is next by our new non-white rulers? CONTINUED and stepped up confiscation of White created capital and wealth Hugo Chavez style… Did you see the new 55% Death tax?

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