Romney camp in disarray - reports

2012-09-17 22:34
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney boards his campaign aircraft for an event in Iowa. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney boards his campaign aircraft for an event in Iowa. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Mitt Romney faced accusations on Monday of deep disarray within his campaign after an explosive report laid out how the Republican White House hopeful has stumbled badly in recent weeks.

The chatter erupted late on Sunday when the Washington news website Politico posted a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at Romney's faltering campaign.

The report focused on how chief strategist Stuart Stevens morphed from Romney's top advisor to the major scapegoat for the team's series of missteps.

Romney, a multimillionaire investor and former governor of Massachusetts, had drawn neck and neck with President Barack Obama during the summer campaign season, but with less than two months to go until the November 6 election, polls show the challenger trailing behind.

Politico dissected Romney's campaign battle strategy, laying out how the candidate put his faith for the most part in an impulsive advisor who has ended up serving three crucial roles himself: top strategist, ad maker and speech writer.

It said Stevens scrapped two early versions of Romney's Republican convention speech in Tampa, bypassing the campaign's speech writers in Boston and writing much of it himself.

The speech was seen as helping to humanize Romney, but it lacked key elements such as a salute to US troops or any mention of al-Qaeda or Afghanistan.

Romney received no substantial boost from the convention, and some conservatives ripped the campaign for allowing Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood to ramble on about Obama - an act which Stevens reportedly greenlighted - minutes before the most important speech of Romney's life.

Stevens defended the campaign's performance.

No love lost

"Like all campaigns, we have good days and bad days. I'm happy to take responsibility for the bad days," he told Politico, adding that Romney was doing better than many pundits have been saying.

There appears to be no love lost within the campaign for the adrenaline junkie with a long resume of successful political consulting, speech writing and strategising for former president George W Bush and others.

"The campaign is filled with people who spend a lot of their time either avoiding [Stevens] or resisting him," a Romney campaign insider told Politico.

But the article cited sources close to Romney as saying the blame cannot be pinned entirely on Stevens, and that Romney bears responsibility for decisions he personally oversaw.

"Romney associates are baffled that such a successful corporate leader has created a team with so few lines of authority or accountability," the report said.

A Republican operative was quoted in the piece as saying that Stevens has a Hollywood aura that leaves conservatives distrustful. He has travelled the world, advised actor George Clooney on TV productions, taken steroids in order to compete in extreme sports, and written a campaign memoir, according to the operative.

"He's a smart, capable guy but he sends bad signals" to conservatives, the operative said.

A Romney official insisted Stevens is likely to stay put.

"None of this is going to be fixed. This is the organization, and this is who Mitt is betting on to win," he said. "There aren't going to be further changes."

Senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie held a conference call with reporters on Monday without mentioning the Politico report, stressing instead Romney's refocus on economic issues.

While he said Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan were not "rolling out new policy" this week, they will "reinforce more specifics about the Romney plan for a stronger middle class", Gillespie said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

All Blacks batter brave Tonga
Byrne: Israel Folau a 'freak'
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
England World Cup coaches barred

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.