The Latest Republican Scapegoat: GOP Primary Debate Moderators

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If only Tagg had been a debate moderator.
If only Tagg had been a debate moderator. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

It turns out that Mitt Romney didn't just lose the presidential race because of President Obama's devious plot to improve the lives of poor people, black people, Hispanic people, sick people, young people, and female people in various ways. On that same call with big donors yesterday, Romney also blamed the endless slew of GOP primary debates and the allegedly biased, liberal moderators who ran some of them. ABC News reports:

“We had 20 Republican debates, that was absolutely nuts, it opened us up to gaffes and to material that could be used against us in the general, and we were fighting these debates for a year, and the incumbent president just sat back and laughed.” .... Romney’s suggestion for the debates next time: “agree that we’re gonna do, you know, I don't know, eight debates, and we’re gonna, we’re gonna do one a month, and we’re gonna pick stations that are reasonable, it’s not all gonna be done by CNN and NBC, alright, I mean we’re gonna try and guide this process so that it’s designed to showcase the best of our people as opposed to showcasing liberals beating the heck out of us.”

Coincidentally, professional money-incinerator Karl Rove expressed similar frustrations with those primary debate moderators at a conference in Florida on Tuesday:

“I think that’s right,” he answered when former newsman Ted Koppel asked if Romney had been undone by that early phase of the presidential race. “I do think the primary was destructive to him.” Rove then added that he placed “blame” with journalists who hosted the debates.

If reporters and TV anchors had not posed questions about abortion and other social issues during umpteen Republican jousting matches, things might have turned out better, Rove harrumphed.

To sum up: It wasn't Romney's fault for having unpopular beliefs, but the moderators' fault for forcing Romney to express them in public. If the American people had known less about what Romney believes, they would have liked him a lot better. Gotta fix that for next time.