In an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose, Stuart Stevens said Wednesday that Eastwood's now-famous skit at the Republican National Convention was a divergence from what the actor had originally planned to say.
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"We had very specific things that he was supposed to say that he had said in front of us before," Stevens aid. "He did this improv that had never been discussed."
He later added: "To a degree it was a distraction, it was bad."
During his RNC appearance, Eastwood spoke to an empty chair as if President Barack Obama were sitting in it. His performance was described as random and out of rhythm with the convention, though it drew laughs from the roaring audience.
"What do you want me to tell Romney?" Eastwood asked the empty chair. "I can't tell him to do that to himself."...
...Less than a month later, Romney's campaign would be dealing with another dust-up, this one more serious. On September 17, secretly-recorded video emerged showing Romney at a Florida fundraiser in May, where he told donors that nearly half of Americans were "dependent" on government and considered themselves victims. Those voters, he said, would automatically choose President Barack Obama.
The video soon sparked an outcry from Democrats and some Republicans, most notably some GOP Senate candidates in tough races attempting to distance themselves from their party's nominee.
Asked how badly the whole episode hurt the campaign, Stevens said: "It was bad, it was bad."...
...A final hurdle came, he said, when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, about a week before the election.
"After the storm, I never had a good feeling," Stevens said, regarding Romney's chances of victory. "Not that the storm impacted things so much, per se, but these races - a race like this is a lot like an NBA game. It's all about ball control at the end."...
..."We went from having these big rallies around the country to literally sitting in hotel rooms, and there was just nothing we could do about it," Stevens said.
Click here to watch Charlie Rose's interview of Stuart Stevens.