Fresh from shaking up the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he headlined a panel titled “Should We Kill All the Consultants Now?,” former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell aimed his fire last night at the Republican National Committee for its post-election report, which he called “the greatest joke in history” and derided as a “whitewash.”
Speaking at the Monday Meeting, a monthly gathering of conservatives in New York City, Caddell charged that the GOP operates “with the moral ethics of ACORN” while their opponents utilize “the most efficient business practices out there.” In his eyes, the report repeats the same misconceptions that cost Republicans the election. He’d like to see a real accounting of what happened and why, and said it will surface only if the party hires outside experts untethered to the GOP.
He criticized the report in particular for its failure to assign blame regarding Mitt Romney’s defeat. “If [the election] could’ve been won, then why wasn’t it?” he demanded. “None of this is discussed in the report.” Caddell, for his part, was happy to point the finger, blaming Romney campaign manager Stuart Stevens, who, he argues, was more interested in currying favor with liberal reporters than winning the election. He suggested that Stevens’s tacit message to his friends in the media was “Hey, I threw the election for you, why won’t you like me?”
Bush-campaign strategist Karl Rove did not emerge unscathed, either. Of the news that Rove is teaming up with a former Bain & Co. executive to fund an effort to digitally target voters, Caddell said he expected him to “blow that too.”
Caddell, who served as a pollster and strategist for Democrats including Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, and Joe Biden, has said that the Democratic party left him. Knowing the opposition, he told the conservatives gathered in the audience, “My party fights to win. It is life or death for them.” The GOP, as he sees it, isn’t about to catch up any time soon.