Romney’s “Charlie Crist” problem is this: Romney’s chief campaign strategist and several of his most senior campaign staff were Crist’s top political advisers — the same ones who crafted Crist’s moderate, ignore-the-tea-party strategy epitomized in Crist’s famous “hug” of President Barack Obama. That strategy led Crist, once the most popular Republican governor in the nation, to defeat.
Crist’s erstwhile political team was led by controversial GOP strategist Stuart Stevens. Stevens and partner Russ Schriefer are the principals in the high-profile Stevens & Schriefer Group consultant firm and are playing the lead role in crafting Romney’s primary and national campaign strategy.
According to the Stevens & Schriefer website, the firm had a long history with Crist, serving as chief strategists for his bids for education commissioner, attorney general, governor, and later for the U.S. Senate.