Mitt Romney: GOP Primary Debates Were 'Nuts,' Networks 'Liberals Beating The Heck Out Of Us'

11/17/2012 11:05 am ET | Updated Jan 17, 2013

Mitt Romney slammed the Republican primary debates, and the media, in the same call to donors in which he made his infamous "gifts" comments.

Romney's criticism of the debate process was obscured by his statements that President Obama beat him by giving "gifts" to key constituencies. But, as ABC News noted on Thursday, Romney said that the debates had hampered the GOP from the beginning of the campaign.

"We had 20 Republican debates, that was absolutely nuts," he said. "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 benefited from the primary debates more than, say, Rick Perry, but the forums became more well-known for elevating the Herman Cains of the party, as well as highlighting primary crowds that booed gay soldiers and applauded executions.

Romney also said that the networks that hosted the debates were working against the party. He said that next time, the GOP should "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."

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