The Corner

Stevens’s Take

Hempstead, N.Y. — Stuart Stevens ventured into the spin room late Tuesday, and for an hour, he mixed it up with reporters. Here’s the Romney strategist’s take.

  • On Obama’s aggression: “Look, I think that President Obama came in and was overcompensating. They had him sequestered. They told him that he had to come out and show passion. But there’s a difference between showing passion and showing that you have a plan. What we saw tonight was sort of an Al Gore imitation.”

  • On the Libya exchange: “I think it hurt the president. What he said was absolutely wrong. We know that they were saying, on that Sunday, that it was the result of a videotape, and he’s trying to say that it was terrorism? It just doesn’t parse.”

  • On Romney’s direct questions: “You have the president of the United States there, and it’s a format where it was possible to do that. It wasn’t in the other formats, and I think the governor wanted to hear his answers.”

  • On Candy Crowley’s attempted fact check: “You should ask Candy about that.”

  • On the polls: “It’s very, very unusual for a challenger to go ahead of an incumbent in a two-way race. Very unusual. It usually doesn’t happen until the end of the race. Now it’s happening, and Governor Romney is going ahead in some of these polls. It’s going to be tight all the way, but what you find is, Governor Romney is acquiring new voters.”

  • On the gender gap: “Joe Biden was a disaster for women voters. . . . Joe Biden reminded every woman of that blustery boss who knows it better, the person you try to stay away from.”

  • On Romney’s Bay State emphasis: “[His gubernatorial record] is part of the stuff that people don’t know that much about. They’re positive proof points that completely dispel what the president has been trying to say.”

  • On the format: “When you have these kind of town halls, of which [Romney] has done over 100, they are always rock ‘em, sock ‘em affairs. You’ve been up to New Hampshire and seen them. You get asked everything from some incredibly educated, detailed question about the budget to ‘How come I have potholes?’ I think that’s good. That’s the fun of doing town halls.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More