Mitt Romney’s entire speech to the Republican National Convention was scrapped just eight days before he was due to give it and two new speechwriters were brought in to produce another one, it is claimed.
But even their effort ended up in the trash as Romney and his campaign adviser Stuart Stevens ended up “cobbling together” the final version that the GOP candidate gave in Tampa on August 30, Politico reports.
That speech was put together so hastily that it failed to include any salute to U.S. troops or even a mention of the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
And Romney’s day was made even worse when convention organizers allowed Clint Eastwood to decide at the last minute to take a chair with him on stage for his speech immediately before the candidate’s. The two-time Oscar-winner’s rambling address garnered far more headlines than Romney’s and subsequent polling found most people thought it was the highlight of the night.
Stevens did not deny the report. In an interview with Politico
, he said, ““The governor writes his speeches,” adding, “He reaches out to a lot of people. … We don’t discuss who works on what. It’s all just the Romney campaign. Everything is just the Romney campaign.
Politico says Stevens brought in Peter Wehner, who wrote speeches for George W. Bush and also worked on the White House staffs of Bush’s father and Ronald Reagan, for Romney’s critical acceptance speech.
But with little more than a week to go, at a time when Romney should have been practicing and honing his words, Stevens decided to throw it all out and tapped John McConnell and Matthew Scully, who had also worked for the second President Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney, to start anew.
McConnell and Scully were also working on the acceptance speech for Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan, so were forced to divide their time, Politico reports.
In the end, their speech too ended up in the trash, with only one line — about how Romney’s father brought a rose to his mother’s bedside every morning — being used in the final version, which was essentially written by Stevens and Romney himself.
The Politico report is highly critical of Stevens’ handling of his candidate, saying that many conservatives view the all-important campaign as “specifics-free and lame.” It says one inside joke among Republicans is that the campaign badly needs a consultant from Romney’s former company, Bain & Co. to straighten it out.
But it points out that, as the man at the top, Romney must carry much of the blame for the campaign that has been slammed for failing to eat into President Barack Obama’s lead in the polls. Last week, Fox News contributor Pat Caddell blasted the campaign as “the worst in my lifetime.”
Stevens defended himself to Politico. “Politics is like sports,” he said. “A lot of people have ideas, and there’s no right or wrong. You just have to chart a course, and stay on that course.”
And one anonymous official in the campaign insisted the organization will not improve as the race for the White House enters its final phase. “Mitt is a sticker — he stays with you,” the official said.
“He had a reputation at Bain for sticking with people. They made a bad investment, he hung with them. … None of this is going to be fixed. This is the organization, and this is who Mitt is betting on to win. There aren’t going to be further changes.”
Read more on Newsmax.com: Romney Adviser Under Fire for 'Specifics-Free, Lame' Campaign
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