Former Massachusetts Gov., and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. (Jacquelyn Martin, AP)
Republican strategist Karl Rove shared his opinion on why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election Thursday, citing a tactical failure by Romney's team as a major reason for the defeat.
"No election can be blamed on one single thing ... that's not the way politics works," Rove told Atlantic editor-in-chief James Bennet. At the core, however, "This was a tactical failure."
Rove pointed to two critical moments that contributed to this "tactical failure," in a story by The Atlantic.
The first was in late March and April when the Obama campaign used a fifth of its campaign money to "irradiate Mitt Romney" by attacking Bain Capital, the enormously profitable investment firm Romney helped found but received sharp criticism for laying off workers and sending jobs overseas. Rove said he felt the Romney campaign needed to fight back and defend the Bain Capital; Rove's American Crossroads Super PAC did so in running ads in 14 battleground states that fought back against the Obama campaign. The Romney campaign, according to Rove, did not.
Karl Rove talks on his mobile phone as he walks across the floor at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (Associated Press)
The other key moment and issue Rove said hurt the Romney campaign was failing to show who the former Massachusetts governor is as a person. Rove pointed to the time around the Republican National Convention when Romney's team put Clint Eastwood in the prime time slot, while placing Romney's friends and people who he had helped in earlier speaking slots. This, Rove said, failed to show to the American public Romney's human side.
According to Rove, his American Crossroads Super PAC worked on a positive ad about Romney, but the Romney campaign itself failed to do the same thing. Rove told the Atlantic, "The problem is when you run for president the American people want to know who you are inside and Romney didn't share who he was inside."