Even before the election results were tallied, some Republican commentators were already speculating who or what would be to blame if Mitt Romney lost the presidential race.
The finger-pointing started almost immediately after President Barack Obama’s re-election win. The GOP has been fervently dissecting this election season, especially the last few weeks leading up to election night, to determine what went wrong.
Here are five of the excuses conservatives of the Republican Party are giving for their loss:
1. Hurricane Sandy
Mitt Romney blamed the monster storm as a factor during a private breakfast with campaign donors the morning after elections, but he’s not the only one from his camp who believes it, too.
“It broke the momentum that Romney had coming in to the end of October,” Gov. Haley Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, told Today’s Matt Lauer.
Barbour and other conservatives believe the storm that came barreling up the east coast last week, killing over a hundred people and displacing even more, gave President Obama the perfect opportunity to look presidential. His actions were watched closely as he visited hurricane victims and worked alongside New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Some even sized him up against George W. Bush during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
According to Gallup, Romney held a three to five point lead during the presidential debate period. Once Sandy hit, the east coast voter support for Obama increased by 6 points, but support in other regions more or less stayed the same. As far as some are concerned, though, the storm completely derailed the Romney campaign.
QStar Group chairman Dean Chambers, who predicted a win for Romney for weeks, said the hurricane changed the dynamics of the campaign..
“I’m not blaming the storm,” he told Forbes. “But Hurricane Sandy took the election as a whole off the front pages for four to five days. After that, it got a lot closer.”
Republican Chris Christie’s praises to Obama during storm relief also sent things over the edge in conservatives’ minds. What Christie defended as a simple partnership with the president to help victims of the storm was seen as a traitorous hugging and hand-holding media affair by those on the right.
“The list of fools who have brought this disaster upon us certainly also will include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the gelatinous clown who (a) hogged up a prime time spot at the Republican convention to sing his own praises; (b) embraced Obama as the hero of Hurricane Sandy and (c) then refused to appear at campaign events in support of Romney’s presidential campaign.”
2. America isn’t “America” anymore
The GOP is struggling to adapt to the fact that times are changing, and with it, the faces of Americans.
In a comment reminiscent of Romney’s almost campaign-sinking 47 percent remark, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly lamented election night that “it’s not a traditional America anymore.”
“The white establishment is now the minority,” he said. “And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama, and women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”
He also said 50 percent of the voting public is made up of people who “want stuff.”