During a November 6 chat with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in which he handicapped the election, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) argued that Republicans had done themselves no favors by both having as many debates as they did in the primary season and turning those debates over to liberal journalists for moderating. “If you were going to have the debates, let them be sponsored by the Heritage Foundation or let them be sponsored by the Republican National Committee.”
For her part, Mitchell was visibly upset by this charge and shot back that various state Republican Party organizations had co-sponsored those debates. “But they were controlled by the news media,” Barbour reminded her. “But I am accepting your point,” Barbour conceded, that the lengthy, debate-laden primary season hurt Romney’s ability to campaign for independents’ votes.