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7 Juicy Claims From A Romney Campaign Insider's New Book

Former policy aide Gabriel Schoenfeld's new book, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign: An Insider's Account, blames Romney's staff for his defeat. Romney aides have dismissed the account, saying Schoenfeld was not as high up in the organization as he claims and that "he just has stuff he wants to get off his chest. Sigh. Welcome to ebooks."

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1. The book claims Romney's initial criticism of the Obama administration over the attacks in Benghazi weren't approved by foreign policy experts.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

The statement accused the Obama administration of sympathizing with attackers and mixed up the timeline of events. It was also sent out on the night of the attacks, Sept. 11, despite the campaign's promise not to engage in partisan attacks that day. He said the statement was written by Stuart Stevens, Lahnee Chen, and Richard Williamson. "When the exhausted candidate arrived at his destination and disembarked at the end of a fourteen-hour day, the draft statement was presented to him by Chen with word that the rest of the campaign brain trust had approved it. Romney read it over and gave it a green light," Schoenfeld writes.

2. The book says policy adviser Lanhee Chen insisted on being called "doctor" and put his Ph.D. credentials on business cards and the nameplate on his office door.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Chen, Romney's chief policy adviser and Schoenfeld's former boss, is a major target of the book; Schoenfeld also complains about the relative size of Chen's office.

3. Schoenfeld says that despite recommendations from advisers, Romney prematurely criticized the Obama administration's handling of Chen Guangcheng.

Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

Romney described the situation as "a day of shame" for Obama and "a dark day for freedom." That same day the issue was resolved and Romney was forced to walk back his criticism.


6. Schoenfeld says that after Richard Grenell resigned, the campaign acted as if it had never happened.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

"The lapse that had exposed both Grenell and the campaign to a stream of ridicule was never talked about internally. Chen strutted around headquarters as if the blunder was someone else’s, and no one in the chain of command seemed to care. This insouciance was not an accident," Schoenfeld writes.

Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.

Contact Jacob Fischler at

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