August 28, 2016

Mitt Romney's campaign manager's appearance on Reliable Sources this morning to discuss Trump's unintelligible campaign strategies was also a perfect illustration of the civil war raging inside the Republican party.

After characterizing Trump as an Amway distributor talking to other Amway distributors -- an interesting characterization, given Amway's funding of the GOP -- Stevens slammed Trump's new personnel changes.

When Brian Stelter asked whether Bannon and Ailes' involvement in the Trump campaign "constituted a takeover of his campaign by the conservative media," Stevens exploded.

"I think you have to separate Steve Bannon from Breitbart from conservative media. Breitbart is -- I mean, they're in the hate business. They're a bunch of nuts!"

Taken aback, Stelter sought clarification. "Why do you say the hate business? That is very strong language."

"Well, read Breitbart. That's what they are," Stevens answered. "There's this whole alt-right thing, which I think is just repackaged racism, trying to put a better name on it, and xenophobia."

Stelter pressed again. "You're sitting here saying that one of the most popular Web sites for Republican readers is a hate machine?"

"Yes. I mean, read it," he answered.

Stelter then asked what implications that has for the Republican party as a whole, and Stevens once again spared him nothing.

"Well, listen, I don't think much about what -- Trump's nomination says anything good about the party," he said. "We lost 2012. We went to the so-called autopsy, which I think Reince Priebus deserves a lot of credit for doing that. The path forward is clear. Republicans have to appeal to a larger section of the country, which means non-white voters."

He added, "You can debate whether or not there's a moral obligation. I would argue there is, but you can't really debate that there's a political mandate. You're not going to win."

That's a pretty devastating indictment from the guy who ran Romney's 2012 campaign and learned the hard way. That campaign was full of dog whistles and race tropes, but compared to Trump's, it was almost dignified.

I appreciate Stevens' honesty, but where was it for the last four years, and particularly the last two?

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.