WASHINGTON -- Former Mitt Romney campaign adviser Stuart Stevens on Wednesday tried to explain the Republican presidential candidate's loss, telling PBS's Charlie Rose that the campaign lost control in its final week as Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast.
"After the storm, I never had a good feeling," Stevens said. "Not that the storm impacted things so much, per se, but these races -- a race like this is a lot like an NBA game. It's all about ball control at the end. ... We went from having these big rallies around the country to literally sitting around in hotel rooms and there was just nothing we could do about it."
Stevens has carried on as a cheerleader for Romney since the election, though many in the Republican Party have abandoned the candidate. The former adviser wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post last week, claiming Romney's ideas "carried the day" with voters who made more than $50,000 per year -- arguing those votes showed Romney was favored by the middle class.
Stevens told Rose he wrote that piece because he felt it was important to stand up for his side, even when it wasn't doing well.
Stevens gave a number of potential reasons for the election loss. He said the Romney campaign had to deal with both a grueling primary and the general election, which took up resources and at times led to muddled messaging. Overall, he said the campaign didn't expect Democrats to bring out so many voters, and Romney simply could not measure up.
He didn't blame the loss on Romney's comments about the "47 percent" of people who the candidate said are dependent on the government and want to stay that way. But he acknowledged it did damage.
"There are always moments when things don't come out right," Stevens said of Romney's remarks.
Stevens also addressed the infamous Clint Eastwood chair moment during the Republican National Convention, when the legendary actor was given prime-time billing and surprised nearly everyone by yelling at an imaginary President Barack Obama instead.
Eastwood "had very specific things that he was supposed to say," but took a different format at the last minute, Stevens said.
"Eastwood, um, it was very good of him to come out," Stevens said. "It's very difficult to get Hollywood people to come out. He felt strongly about this and he wanted to do it. He's spoken himself as to why he decided to do what he did. ... He asked for a chair as he was standing to go on stage."
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