Caddell unleashes on GOP consultants at CPAC

Former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell ripped into Republican consultants Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Caddell, who these days is known more for his frequent cable news rants, called the Romney campaign a joke and criticized chief strategist Stuart Stevens. “2012 was a failure of strategy, it was a failure of tactics, it was a massive failure of messaging,” Caddell said. “Most of all it was a total failure of imagination.” Speaking alongside a handful of Republicans on a panel entitled “Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?” Caddell accused the GOP consulting class of being only “in the business of lining their pockets and preserving power.” As for the Romney operation: it was “the worst campaign in the history of the United States,” according to Caddell. “[Stuart] Stevens had as much business running a campaign as I do sprouting wings and flying out of this room,” he said to laughter and some applause. Sitting alongside Caddell, Brian Baker, who heads the Ending Spending Action Fund, countered the former pollster’s dire outlook on the GOP's future. “I think he’s dead wrong,” Baker said. “If you look at the state of the party around the country, there are 30 Republican governors—highest in the party in 12 years. The Republican Party won over 700 seats in state legislative races in 2010 and there are now more Republican state legislators than in any time since the 1920s.” As for the much talked about data and technology gap between the two parties, Caddell said Republicans would be foolish to believe data was what won President Obama reelection. “Let me tell you something about presidential politics,” he said. “It isn’t about technology first. It’s about message first and when you have no message you will lose.”

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Sallie DeVeaux

Pat Caddell is completely correct and it is not just 20/20 hindsight. All along the campaign he went piece by piece into what they were doing wrong, it kept slipping and slipping out of reach. If you read and listen to him all 2012, he was spot on. I asked all of my democratic friends who the biggest threat to Obama about a year before the election and they all said "Romney". He could have won, he could have won.

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