Huffpost Politics

Stuart Stevens Sticks With Message: Our Ideas 'Carried The Day'

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Mitt Romney adviser Stuart Stevens defended the failed GOP presidential candidate and himself on Thursday, repeating an argument from his Wednesday Washington Post op-ed that the candidate carried the day, but still didn't win.

That op-ed was met with widespread criticism, in part because of Stevens' insistence that since Romney won voters who made more than $50,000 per year and won the white vote, he was, in a way, successful.

He told CBS' "This Morning" that he was "not at all" saying the race was divided into support from the haves and the have-nots. He also defended Romney's claims post-election that Obama won because of "gifts" to base constituencies, such as women and Latinos.

"I don't think that's what he was saying," he said when asked why Romney essentially said Obama paid off those voters. "I think he was saying there was an effort that the incumbent used, as many other incumbents have used, to reach out to constituents. That's something we've seen in politics going back for a long time. They did it effectively."

Obama won women, Latino and black voters by wide margins, and in the op-ed Stevens argues that such a win cannot be repeated by Democrats -- even though the Latino population, in particular, will only grow as a percentage of the vote.

Stevens acknowledged to "This Morning" that the Romney campaign failed in its outreach to women and Latinos, saying that its message was good, but the outreach wasn't.

His other reasons for Obama's win: good messaging, taking on what he called smaller issues, and Hurricane Sandy. "I think the images of the president in the storm were very helpful to him," Stevens said. "It reminded them of what they liked about the president."

Overall, he stuck with the argument that it wasn't about Romney or his policies. "I certainly don't think it was the ideas. I think the ideas carried the day for us," he said.

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