Romney aides serve explanations with heavy topspin

Lisa Riley Roche covered one Romney surrogate, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, spinning the now inevitable SC loss here.

And over here we have McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed with a senior Romney aide who wants to be anonymous saying,  “I think we’re going to lose tonight, we could lose big,” the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But I think it’s been a terrible week for Gingrich and a great week for us.”

Understandably, the Romney camp wants to shrug this off, to manage expectations going forward.  And while it is true that Gingrich is simply unelectable in the general election, it is simply not true that Romney’s stumble here today was inevitable.

Romney did this to himself by not anticipating and deflecting the attacks on his wealth–not so subtly couched as requests to see his tax returns–twice in two debates in the same week.  Now he’s in the worst position of having taken hits all week, he will still have to release his returns and explain them.  And now pivoting to offense on the matter will be that much more difficult.

No amount of spin can undo the damage the Romney camp did to itself here.  This was a failure of vision, a failure of staff work, and and a failure to plan from a man who made his wealth seeing and exploiting what others missed.

The core problem may be, as one economist this week told me, that capitalists like Romney love capital, but they don’t love capitalism.  So far, he has been far too reticent in defending the golden goose.

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