Pat Caddell Rips The GOP A New One
Interesting how it took an outsider to say what needs to be said…
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 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, Caddell said.
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." [BOB: I nominate Miss Smith to be Chairman of the Republican Party]
This is the ‘Come To Jesus’ moment for the GOP…and conservatives.
There are two paths you can go down and it’s a time for choosing.
Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?