The retiring lawmaker acted as Mandel's opponent, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves Dem senator shares photo praising LeBron James after Laura Ingraham attacks Trump gets recommendation for steep curbs on imported steel, risking trade war MORE (D-Ohio), in debate prep, and he said that's when he realized there was a problem.

"We got to a question on Asian Carp, and his answer was, 'It is Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE's fault that we have the Asian Carp problem,' " LaTourette told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"I said, 'I don't know what kind of advice you are getting, but you don't have to fight on that question. The answer to that question is: it is a horrible environmental problem if that stuff gets into the Great Lakes and we all need to work together across the aisle in the Great Lakes region. And then, he'd go on and blame Barack Obama for something else."

Mandel challenged Brown in one of the nation's most expensive contests, and lost by 5 percentage points.

The influx of outside money brought condemnation from Democrats, and Brown's campaign often cited a $30 million figure in spending from outside GOP groups to take him down. LaTourette acknowledged that Mandel's loss was "not a question of money," because "Josh Mandel had more money than God," he said.

The Senate candidates in Ohio were largely dependent upon the top of their ticket, and if Mitt Romney had been able to pull out a win there, Mandel might've found himself at orientation sessions last week.

But he also made a number of missteps — earning himself the "Pants on Fire" crown for the number of statements he made that were deemed false by the Cleveland Plain Dealer — that didn't boost his chances.

LaTourette acknowledged that Mandel would've had to outrun Romney in the state, and said that "he had been told to fight everything," which he said was poor guidance from his advisers.

"It's a question of, he needed Mitt Romney to carry Ohio by 8 to beat Sherrod, and whoever was giving him advice really should have been fired because it was bad advice."