From the New York Times (emphasis):
Kevin Madden, a Republican communications expert with long ties to Mitt Romney, will become a more frequent and visible spokesman for the presidential campaign, a source close to the decision said on Friday.
The increased responsibilities for Mr. Madden came in the wake of criticism from nervous Republicans about Mr. Romney’s campaign team. The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial that the campaign “looks confused in addition to being politically dumb.”
Mr. Madden was Mr. Romney’s press secretary during the 2008 campaign, appearing frequently on television and serving as the primary foil for the cadre of national political reporters following the candidate.
You will recall that Kevin Madden complained about Governor Palin during an interview with CNN, before the 2008 election had even taken place, in October of that year, saying:
“Look, that is why people who have done this before, people who have run national campaigns, always tend to look at prospective V.P. candidates, and they’re the ones that are nationally vetted, the ones that have been governors on the scene for a long time, the ones that have been — gone through the scrutiny of the national press corps in Washington.”
Amanda Carpenter noted at the time:
Former Romney Spokesman Kevin Madden was particularly harsh on Palin in an interview on CNN. His criticism of Palin is especially noteworthy because we’re only days from the election.
In a spot with Campbell Brown Madden said Palin’s wardrobe flap showed how “unseasoned” Palin is.
Also, according to Erick Erickson (pre anti-Palin era), from October 2008:
When I was in St. Paul for the Republican Convention, I heard more than a dozen people say acolytes of Mitt Romney were feeding all the stories to the media portraying Palin in a negative light.
In fact, I heard that one of the biggest pushers of anti-Palin stories, including encouraging reporters to pursue the “Trooper-gate” story was Romney spokeshack Kevin Madden.
I did not blog on it at the time because I perceived it to be people trying to finish off Romney. It likewise seemed clear to me that if this was going on, it was people loyal to Romney who were still hoping for his come back and not Romney himself.
In 2011, Madden took a shot at Governor Palin, telling CBS News:
[Y]ou’re using a presidential campaign as a vehicle to build a little bit more of a profile as a celebrity, or somebody who’s going to be on TV- somebody’s who’s going to be selling books and giving speeches.
Keep in mind that this was FIVE months before Governor Palin made her final decision not to seek the presidency. Governor Palin was still in the process of contemplating a run at that point. To suggest that she was using the presidential election to boost her profile, is to not understand how large her profile is. Madden was obviously trying to “poison the well” by suggesting to Republican voters that her motives for mulling a White House bid were insincere. It was an underhanded thing to do.
So, what are the odds that many of the “anonymous” attacks against Governor Palin from team Romney, actually came directly from Kevin Madden? If you look at his history of on-air statements, and his reputation, it’s not a very far-fetched notion.
The Romney campaign is trying to give off the appearance that they are getting their camp in order to settle the stomachs of GOP donors. Perhaps elevating an individual, who is known to many base Conservatives an an under-handed, trash-talking opportunist, isn’t the best way to go about that. In fact, you might consider that a “politically dumb” move.