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Romney strategist: Position on gay rights contributed to Election Day defeat

Monday, February 25, 2013

A chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign said Monday that the Republican candidate’s loss was all about policy, and that evolution on policy positions, such as same-sex marriage, is necessary to revive the GOP.

Stuart Stevens (left) with Mitt Romney.
File photo by Charles Dharapak, AP

“I don’t think it’s very controversial to suggest that a candidate who favors gay marriage and free contraception might have more appeal to a younger demographic,” strategist Stuart Stevens wrote Monday in The Washington Post.

“Does anyone want to argue that free contraception is seen as a more pressing issue to your average 21-year-old than to a 55-year-old voter, or that there are more gay rights organizations on college campuses than in VFW halls?”

Stevens wrote that there’s much “desire to blame Republicans’ electoral difficulties and the Romney campaign’s loss on technological failings. I wish this were the problem, because it would be relatively easy to fix. But it’s not.”

Stevens said he believes Republicans will have to rethink key positions favored by younger voters to recapture White House.

A recent poll released by the Respect for Marriage Coalition found that 59 percent of respondents indicated that denying gays a lesbians the right to marry is considered discrimination.

Last week, Jon Huntsman, a former GOP presidential contender and Utah governor, urged the Republican party to embrace marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and warned that failure to do so will continue to result in the electorate becoming further disenchanted with the Republican party.

“Americans will not coalesce around Republicans’ free market ideas if we stand against their friends, family, and individual liberty,” Huntsman wrote.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. Lack of spine contributed to defeat.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:51pm
  2. Or rather, lack of brain.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:55pm
  3. What kind of “position” — exactly…. ?

    I’d say he went too hard for TOP—
    —only to end up on BOTTOM.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:55pm
  4. Romney doesn’t care for LGBT. Unless you’re white male rich and straight he’ll let you burn.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:55pm
  5. Don’t give us all the Credit, there were so many Reasons why he was Defeated on Election Day!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:57pm
  6. If he was trying to say he’s for human rights ill laugh. He wanted to restrict women’s rights to their own bodies. I’m glad he lost. If he had all human rights gained for LGBT would have started to slip away again. He’s a bible excuse for hate and discrimination man.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:57pm
  7. You mean, besides his being a total dick…

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:00pm
  8. John McCain oddly had honor. He wasn’t going to allow ppl to claim Obama is a Muslim terrorist illegal alien or any other slander. I can’t believe the hate and propaganda against Obama. I seen ppl claim he’s the anti Christ and plans to put chips in us. Makes me sick. He’s proven he’s American and his religion is none of our business unless he allowed it to affect our laws…

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:00pm
  9. Buuuut no matter how many times he proves he’s American they’re still gonna call “fake” on his birth certificate. I wanna pull the same move on them lol “I’m American see”…”yeah uh…no it’s a fake”…”what no look at it?!”…”I see it…but it’s probably a fake”

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:03pm
  10. If we could only grasp the significance of every LGBTQ person coming out and working collectively to change perceptions and laws discriminating against anyone for any reason, sexual orientation, or what. Harvey Milk had that vision and it is our obligation to preach the truth, change societies outlook and understanding of homosexuality and transexuality and other forms of self expression.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:07pm
  11. And he was a spineless lying contradicting ass that could be bought by the highest bidder.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:09pm
  12. dah!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:34pm
  13. General Republicans position in EQUAL RIGHTS for LGBTQ people: NO RIGHTS!! That’s their position!!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:38pm
  14. He first lost my vote for his position on safety nets, then his view on LGBT Rights, then Women’s Rights, then by the time October rolled around I couldn’t stand to see his smug pixar villain face on TV.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 2:43pm
  15. Ya think?

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:05pm
  16. OMG, that was all. He was a failure all around. The obvious yes, but let’s not forget that 49%.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:16pm
  17. Actually Romney has always been about gay rights. I am not saying I am a fan of Romney, but he did support Gays entering Boyscouts quite a while ago.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:18pm
  18. the only reason Romney kind of turned on them was to gain support from the religious. But what politician doesn’t do that kind of stuff.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:18pm
  19. He’s full of baloney. He’s spineless, and if he cared about LGBT rights then he should have said so. His views are tired, too conservative and in time obsolete.

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:23pm
  20. Ron do you remember when Obama said he was against gay marriage? I do!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:24pm
  21. I have a feeling by this next election there are going to be a lot more libertarians involved in the GOP. I am stoked for that! Libertarian would mean equal rights for all!

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:26pm
  22. One of many! Funny how they are still trying to figure out “wa happened!” LOL

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 3:53pm
  23. Hello Friends, Family, and Neighbors,

    I hope that you and yours are all doing well. Our President needs your help. I encourage you to write to him. The links directs you to my letter to President Obama. Making the right moves elevates an ordinary moment to a moment that matters…siege “your” moment.

    http://www.friendsofeli.com/live/video_popup.php/Letter_To_The_President.doc?id=73&download=1&bipass=1&start_dl=1

    Recommendations
    Focus on helping our President in key growth opportunities that will have greatest impact.
    Focus on the big picture and on what’s possible.
    Focus on providing what he needs to make the next steps.

    Please feel free to Share to all of your friends as you see fit.

    Warm Regards,
    Eli

    http://www.friendsofeli.com/live/video_popup.php/Letter_To_The_President.doc?id=73&download=1&bipass=1&start_dl=1

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 4:08pm
  24. no shit…. ya think… or maybe his ignorance on women or minorities….

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:43pm