Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reportedly told a donor that he blamed 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign for the candidate’s poor showing at the polls.


The New York Times reports that a donor met Priebus during an RNC fundraiser in New York and told the chairman that the GOP’s intense primary season didn’t give Romney the time to pivot back toward the center after primaries, where he needed to appeal to the party’s more conservative base.

But Priebus reportedly said that the problems ran deeper than the structure of the primaries, noting Romney’s widely reported comment that “47 percent” of Americans are dependent on government. He added that reports of Romney’s extreme wealth, specifically the fact that his California mansion had a car elevator, didn’t help either.

RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told the Times that Priebus tried to tell donors that even a change in the primary system wouldn’t have been the magic cure for the party’s woes in the 2012 presidential election.

“You can’t blame the system,” he said, “when things are said on our side that were unforced errors.”

The Obama camp repeatedly hit Romney on his wealth and sought to frame him as out of touch with the average voter. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom line Biden's first 100 days is stylistic 'antithesis' of Trump The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (D-Nev.) also vilified Romney from the Senate floor, accusing him of not paying taxes. Romney responded by releasing two years of tax returns.