GOP strategist Karl Rove continued his effort to bury Mitt Romney's election loss under a pile of excuses on Wednesday, adding a new explanation to his growing list.
"Mitt Romney had what I scientifically call a butt-ugly primary,'' Rove told a crowd gathered to hear him speak at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, according to the Erie Times-News. He went on to explain that the lengthy contest featured "way too many debates'' and became overly focused on social issues instead of the economy.
Rove also offered a number of other reasons for Romney's failure in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday, including what he argued was the most important -- a decline in voter turnout from 2008 to 2012. He repeated this claim at his speech Wednesday night.
But in his Journal piece, Rove also claimed that the party process had damaged Romney in ways beyond the primary.
"Holding the convention in late August made sense when candidates relied on public financing for the general election. That will never happen again," Rove wrote. "The Romney campaign had tens of millions it couldn't spend for months until he was officially nominated on Aug. 28. Future conventions should be held as early as late June."
Rove also addressed the failure of his super PAC, American Crossroads, which eventually spent more than $300 million in spending, mostly on losing candidates. He said they wouldn't be deterred by the disastrous showing, and that they were "in it for the long haul."