MR. DRISCOLL: On the flip side, can we talk a bit about Romney himself? The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu has long been quoted as saying, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” In your estimation, was Mitt Romney the best choice to fight for the GOP in 2012?
MR. BOZELL: No, he was a terrible choice. And you had this — the feeling in the pit of your stomach, just as you did at the beginning of the 2008 campaign with John McCain, that he just wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Look, you — you had the — I think, the single-most vulnerable incumbent in modern times running in Barack Obama, more vulnerable than Jimmy Carter in 1980, because his record was a pure — and continues to be — a pure disaster. Foreign policy, domestic policy, economic policy, social policy, across the board, it was a disaster. So my dog should have been able to beat him.
So why couldn’t Mitt Romney beat him? Because Mitt Romney did not connect with the base of the Republican party. The Republican party is a conservative party. Moderates do not connect. They connect with the press. They do not connect with the rank and file. He never connected with the rank and file.
MR. DRISCOLL: Brent, let’s talk a little bit more about battlefield preparation. As we were discussing before the interview, if I’m remembering correctly, I think we were both on the same National Review Cruise in 2010 with Andrew Breitbart, who passed away in March of 2012. What did you think of Breitbart’s style, and how much was he missed in the run-up to November?
MR. BOZELL: You know, the more he antagonized the press, the more successful you knew he was being. If Andrew Breitbart had passed away without a blip, well, that’s one thing. Andrew Breitbart was a — was a bit of a force of nature, because he just loved calling the press out. And he humiliated them on a regular basis. And he embarrassed them on a regular basis. And he was able to really expose who they were; not just who they were, but — but how vicious they could be.
So he is missed. Of course he is missed. He was a champion for conservatives. He was a good guy. We gave him the — an award at our annual gala just a year before he passed away. And I’m glad we chose him when we did.
MR. DRISCOLL: The Tea Party was also sidelined in 2012; as we now know, they were busy being harassed by all the president’s IRS agents. How badly did that hurt Mitt Romney’s efforts?
MR. BOZELL: Well, I don’t know that the Tea Party could have connected enough with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was surrounded by baying capital sycophants who knew nothing about the pulse of the conservative movement; even worse, could care less about the pulse of the conservative movement.
This was the most insular mismanaged catastrophe of a campaign I have ever seen, run by people who knew nothing about politics to begin with. So, you know, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Mitt Romney together again.