GOP Donors Bash Romney's 'JV Operation'

Fingerpointing begins among donors, advisers, Christie

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 8, 2012 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Mitt Romney began his first day after losing the presidential election at a breakfast with donors in Boston, and ended it by leaving a final staff meeting in his son's car, no Secret Service security detail in sight. At the breakfast, he blamed superstorm Sandy for a loss of momentum in the final days of his campaign, attendees tell the Washington Post. He didn't specifically call out Chris Christie, but several of his supporters anonymously did. "A lot of people feel like Christie hurt, that we definitely lost four or five points between the storm and Chris Christie giving Obama a chance to be bigger than life," says one. There's been a rift between Christie and Romney ever since Christie was "led a little bit far down the garden path" without ultimately being chosen as Romney's runningmate, another source adds.

But Christie's not the only one taking heat: Many donors are irked with Romney's senior staff, describing it—as the Post puts it—as a "junior varsity operation" that couldn't protect Romney from political attacks. Romney's staffers were "way in over their heads," says a member of the campaign's national finance committee. Another member calls the Romney campaign strategy and message "total failures," and says, "when you're incorrect on this level, you are shunned by people in the party." A Republican operative confirms these feelings to the Huffington Post: "The billionaire donors I hear are livid. There is some holy hell to pay. Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do … I don't know how you tell your donors that we spent $390 million and got nothing."

Mitt Romney arrives to his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston.
Mitt Romney arrives to his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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