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Frum: Conservatives fleeced and 'lied to by conservative entertainment complex'


"Republicans have been fleeced and exploited, and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex," Daily Beast and Newsweek contributing editor David Frum told Friday's Morning Joe panel in a discussion on the outcome of the 2012 election.

Frum, who is a Republican and once served as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has criticized conservative media outlets in the past for “immers[ing] their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.” Frum joined Morning Joe on Friday, in part, to discuss his new e-book "Why Romney Lost: And What the GOP Can Do About It."

Asked to name those media outlets he meant, Frum deferred, saying, "I name names in the book."

Later, though Frum tweeted that he would happily repeat his message direct to Fox News.

By the way, if anybody at Fox would like me to repeat to their faces what I said on Morning Joe this AM, I accept. Unlikely, I know, but …— davidfrum (@davidfrum) November 9, 2012

Frum argued that Republican leaders, who he says are "cowards" rather than "fundamentally mistaken," have a difficult relationship with the GOP activist base and donor base.

"The problem with GOP leaders is they’re cowards, not that they’re fundamentally mistaken," Frum said. "The real locus of the problem is the GOP activist base and the GOP donor base. They went apocalyptic over the past four years and that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world."

While Frum said he believedMitt Romney would have been "a really good president," he also noted that Romney was "twisted into pretzels [and] the people who put cement shoes on his feet are now blaming him for sinking."

Host Joe Scarborough added to Frum's statement, saying "conservatives have been lied to."

"They’ve been lied to by people who engage in niche marketing and make tens of millions of dollars engaging in niche marketing," Scarborough said. "I’m a capitalist, God bless ‘em…but that’s not an electoral strategy, that’s a business strategy for them."