3/14/13, "Caddell Unloads on 'Racketeering' GOP Consultants," Breitbart News, Leahy
"The 2010 takeover of Congress by the Republicans, Caddell said, "was not
engineered by the Washington Republican establishment. They [the
establishment] then took that victory and threw it away....
Pat Caddell, the Fox News Contributor and Democrat pollster who
engineered Jimmy Carter’s 1976 Presidential victory, blew the lid off
CPAC on Wednesday with a blistering attack on "racketeering" Republican
consultants who play wealthy donors like "marks."
"I blame the donors who allow themselves to be played for marks. I
blame the people in the grassroots for allowing themselves to be played
for suckers....It's time to stop being marks. It's time to stop being
suckers. It’s time for you people to get real," he told the audience
that included two top Republican consultants.
Caddell stole the show as a panelist in the breakout session titled
"Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?" He spoke with a fire and
passion that electrified the room. When the session began the large room
was half filled, but as word spread of the fireworks going on inside,
the audience streamed in. By the end, it was standing room only.
Breitbart News spoke with Caddell prior to his talk, and he promised he
would deliver a "brutal critique" of the Republican establishment and
its political consulting class. He did not disappoint, pulling no
punches with an unyielding evisceration of a small group of Republican
consultants, the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee, and
Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS Super PAC.
"When you have the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee
and the political director of the Romney campaign, and their two
companies get $150 million at the end of the campaign for the
'fantastic' get-out-the-vote program...some of this borders on RICO [the
1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] violations,"
Caddell told the crowd. "It's all self dealing going on. I think it works on the RICO thing. They’re in the business of lining their pockets."
"The Republican Party," Caddell continued, "is in the grips of what I
call the CLEC--the consultant, lobbyist, and establishment complex."
Caddell described CLEC as a self serving interconnected network of
individuals and organizations interested in preserving their own power
far more than they're interested in winning elections.
"Just follow the money," Caddell told a rapt audience. "It’s all there
in the newspaper. The way it works is this--ever since we centralized
politics in Washington, the House campaign committee and the Senate
campaign committee, they decide who they think should run. You hire
these people on the accredited list [they say to candidates] otherwise
we won't give you money. You hire my friend or else."
Financial corruption is a key component of the current process,
according to Caddell. "There's money passing under the table on both
parties. Don’t kid yourself...If you can’t see racketeering in front of
you, God save you."
As a Democrat, Caddell said he could tell the truth about the
failings of the Republicans 2012 campaign efforts since "I have no
interest in the Republican Party." He compared Republicans unfavorably
to Democrats."In my party we play to win. We play for life and death.
You people play for a different kind of agenda...Your party has no
problem playing the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters."
Caddell left no doubt he is not an admirer of Mitt Romney's campaign
management skills. He called Romney "the worst executive I've seen" when
it comes to leading a political campaign. Romney's failure to attack
Obama's Benghazi debacle during the foreign policy debate was
"cravenness" that came about because his consultants told him "we don’t
want to look warlike."
Caddell also said Romney failed to back his campaign with his own money
when it was most needed. "My question for Romney is, you spent $45
million [of your own money] in your 2008 campaign where you didn't have a
chance. Why didn't you give your campaign a loan in the spring instead
of letting Obama define you?"
Romney, Caddell said, was not on top of his game when he failed to
anticipate attacks based on his business career. "You didn't know Bain
was coming? Ted Kennedy used it against you." Romney lost to Ted Kennedy
in the 1994 Senate election in Massachusetts.
Caddell was equally caustic in his evaluation of the Republican
consultants who managed Romney's campaign. "Of course this election
could have been won. It should have been won," he said. "The Romney
campaign was the worst campaign in my lifetime except for ninety minutes
[in the first debate] thanks to Barack Obama."
"There was a failure of strategy, a failure of tactics, a massive
failure of messaging. Most of all there was a total failure of
imagination." Caddell singled out Stuart Stevens, a key figure in
Romney's campaign, in a particularly withering critique. "Stevens had as
much business running a campaign as I do sprouting wings and flying out
of this room," he said to an audience that applauded.
Caddell said that Romney inexplicably allowed Obama to define him
without fighting back. If Obama had a 50% favorable rating on election
day, he had an 80% chance of winning. If he had a 45% favorable rating
on election day, he had a 90% chance of losing. On election day, Obama's
favorable rating was 51% because, Caddell said, "Republicans failed to
hold him down."
"A majority of the people wanted to repeal Obamacare, [an issue that]
the Republican Party abandoned," Caddell noted. He added that "on the
issue of bigger or smaller government, one-third of the people who want
smaller government voted for Obama."
Caddell criticized the RNC's planned announcement on Monday of the RNC's Growth and Opportunity Project report, which
he dismissed as "this whitewash...being produced at the RNC. You can
not have the people who failed responsible for finding the solution."
Caddell predicted that the Republican Party, unless it became the
anti-establishment, anti-Washington party, would become extinct, like
the 19th century Whig Party. "These people [in the
consulting-lobbying-establishment complex] are doing business for
themselves. They are a part of the Washington establishment. These
people don’t want to have change."
The 2010 takeover of Congress by the Republicans, Caddell said, "was not
engineered by the Washington Republican establishment. They [the
establishment] then took that victory and threw it away."
Caddell called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) "the
Ambrose Burnside of American politics." Burnside was the commander of
the Union's Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. He was dismissed
by Lincoln for his inability to press his advantage against the enemy,
his plodding and unimaginative strategies, and his inability to focus
resources on the tactics needed for victory.
Caddell cautioned Republicans not to read too much in the 2012
results where they maintained control of the House of
Representatives. "You won the House [in 2012] because of the
reapportionment that came after the 2010 [Tea Party] victories," he
said. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), elected in 2010, and Senator Ron
Johnson (R-WI), elected in 2012, had to fight this establishment at
every step in the process and "claw their way" to electoral success,
When an audience member asked Caddell why he, a Democrat, was
offering Republicans advice that would help them beat his own party, his
response was met with huge applause. "I'm not a fan of Barack Obama,"
Caddell said. "My first allegiance is to my country. I have paid a huge
price, and when I watch you people screwing up I'm offended."
Nancy Smith, a grassroots activist who co-founded an independent
Virginia group that focused on door-to-door canvassing and
get-out-the-vote in the 2012 election, was effusive in her praise of
Caddell's critique. "This talk by Caddell is what this entire conference
should be about."
The panel was moderated by Matt Schlapp, a principal at Cove
Strategies, a Republican political consulting firm. In addition to
Caddell, the panel included Jeff Roe, the founder of Axiom Strategies,
also a Republican political consulting firm, Morton Blackwell, a
Republican National Committeeman from Virginia and founder of the
Leadership Institute, and Brian Baker, founder of a Super PAC." via Free Republic