The shock of last night’s electoral outcome in the presidential race is setting in for some conservatives. But just how it was lost seems to be up for the debate.
On Laura Ingraham’s Wednesday radio show, conservative commentator Ann Coulter and Ingraham debated who is to blame. Coulter, author of “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama,” was less willing to fault the candidate Mitt Romney, while Ingraham put the loss mostly on the shoulders of those running the Romney campaign.
COULTER: I think Romney ran just on his own force of will, a magnificent campaign. I think he was the perfect candidate.
INGRAHAM: Are you kidding me? You think he ran a magnificent campaign?
INGRAHAM: On what basis are you saying that? He got his clock cleaned. How did he run a magnificent campaign, Ann? I can’t believe Ann Coulter, who is a truth-teller on issues from the economy to social issues to racial demagoguery is saying that Romney ran a magnificent campaign with Eric Fehrnstrom and Stu Stevens at the helm. How can you possibly conclude that?
Coulter said the problem was much broader than just the campaign. She defended Romney as the candidate on grounds of the substance he offered.
“No, I said he did. I didn’t say the campaign was magnificent. It was better than Ronald Reagan’s. There were no — they had to start inventing gaffes out of thin air,” Coulter said. “Romney is the first Republican candidate I’ve seen where I don’t get nervous when he talks. He’s a beautiful speaker. He’s articulate. He has an articulate vice president, something Reagan certainly did not have. He was so good in the debate, as I knew he would be. He had a serious plan for fixing real problems.”
But in the end, with all the variables that should have been working against the incumbent president, Coulter said Obama’s re-election is a sign the country may have reached a tipping point.
“He concentrated on jobs,” Coulter continued. “That was the important issue. He concentrated on the economy. We have 8 percent, more than 8 percent unemployment. People are suffering, the country is in disarray. If Mitt Romney cannot win in this economy, then the tipping point has been reached. We have more takers than makers and it’s over. There is no hope. You said you would change the consultants. Well, that’s a hopeful analysis.”
Ingraham argued that with exception of the first presidential debate, Romney’s effort was lackluster in that regard, explaining he should have done a better job espousing conservative values. But later, Ingraham pressed Coulter to defend the actions of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, which Coulter had said on the eve of the election wouldn’t be a factor but admitted it in retrospect it did hurt him.
“Yeah, I think this has really hurt him,” Coulter said. “I was pretty confident. … I didn’t think we had hit the tipping point. I thought Romney was going to win and if Romney had won, it wouldn’t have made a difference. I understand why Christie did what he did. President Obama plays politics with money. He deprived New Jersey of federal education funds soon after Christie became governor. And New Jersey is hurting. He needs the education funds.”