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Pat Caddell sets off firestorm at CPAC 2013, accuses consultants of racketeering

Pat Caddell
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Fox News contributor and former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell ripped into Republican consultants Thursday at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

The man who engineered Jimmy Carter’s 1976 presidential victory called the Romney campaign “the worst campaign in my lifetime” and criticized chief strategist Stuart Stevens, according to Breitbart.com and CampaignsandElections.com.

“There was a failure of strategy, a failure of tactics, a massive failure of messaging,” Caddell said. “Most of all there was a total failure of imagination. Stevens had as much business running a campaign as I do sprouting wings and flying out of this room.”

Participating in a panel — “Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?” — Caddell accused the GOP consulting class of being only “in the business of lining their pockets and preserving power.”

“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 attendees.

“The Republican Party is in the grips of what I call the CLEC — the consultant, lobbyist, and establishment complex,” Caddell said.

In what was described by Breitbart as a blistering attack on “racketeering” Republican consultants who play wealthy donors like “marks,” Caddell added:

“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.”

In comparing Republicans unfavorably to Democrats, Caddell said: “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.”

Tom Tillison


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