The retiring lawmaker acted as Mandel's opponent, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump surprises with consumer agency pick On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump nominates budget official Kraninger for consumer chief | Senate votes to block Trump ZTE deal | Stocks fall on trade tensions | House panel moves to markup budget Dems must stop picking foxes to guard the financial hen house 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 ObamaFeehery: Betting on Trump Pew study finds Americans can’t tell fact from opinion Should President Trump, like President Obama, forsake human rights in pursuit of the deal with a tyrant? MORE's fault that we have the Asian Carp problem,' " LaTourette told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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"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."