"Face the Nation" transcripts, August 12, 2012: Cutter, Fehrnstrom, Gingrich


(CBS News) Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on August 12, 2012, hosted by CBS News Nancy Cordes. Guests include: Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Plus, a roundtable with Ruth Marcus, Bob Shrum, David Frum, Michael Gerson and Roger Simon. 

CORDES: Good morning, again, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. Bob Schieffer is on his way to High Point, North Carolina, where he'll be sitting down with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan later today in their first joint interview which will air on tonight's "60 Minutes." So you'll want to tune in to that.

But for now, with the latest on this new Republican ticket, I'm joined by CBS News political correspondent Jan Crawford, who is in Mooresville, North Carolina, this morning.

And, Jan, we're learning that there was quite of bit of subterfuge involved this keeping this running mate pick under wraps. Tell us about it.

JAN CRAWFORD, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nancy, it was almost something out of a spy novel, the lengths that they went to keep this a secret. It involved Paul Ryan when he was going to meet with Romney in Boston to be offered the pick, actually almost being in disguise. He had sunglasses, a baseball cap, casual clothes so he could move through the airport.

And then when he was going to Virginia to be announced as the nominee, he sneaked out of the back of the house and went through the woods to get his ride. And last night on the campaign plane, Romney and Ryan came back and talked to the reporters and they seemed almost tickled to death that they kept all this a secret.

Now there is clearly a strong, good rapport between these two guys as they were talking to us last night. And, Nancy, I have never seen Romney as energized and enthused as he was in his campaign speeches yesterday in Virginia. And we'll see some of that tonight in Bob's interview.

CORDES: Big crowds behind you as well. All right. Jan Crawford in North Carolina with the Romney campaign. Thanks so much.

Joining us now to talk about Mitt Romney's pick are deputy campaign manager for the Obama campaign, Stephanie Cutter, who is in Chicago this morning; and Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to Mitt Romney, who joins us from Charlotte, North Carolina.

And, Eric, let's start with you. Describe for us how and when Mitt Romney offered the V.P. slot to Paul Ryan and what he said when he accepted.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, SENIOR ADVISER, MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Well, he called him on August 1st, but on that day, the governor had just returned from his overseas trip. He had made his decision that he wanted Paul Ryan to join him on the ticket. He reached out to him, set up a meeting, and the meeting took place on August 5th. That was last Sunday.

They met at the private home of Beth Myers, who is a top aide, and handled the vice-presidential selection process. And it was in a private meeting in Beth's dining room where Governor Romney offered Paul Ryan a spot on the ticket and he accepted.

CORDES: Eric, there were, obviously, a number of politicians under consideration, Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty. What was about Paul Ryan that made him the choice for Mitt Romney in the end? And was this a difficult decision?

FEHRNSTROM: It wasn't difficult at all for the governor. This was a big, bold, courageous choice by Governor Romney. It indicates that he's not only interested in taking on the jobs crisis in this country, but he also wants to address the fiscal crisis as well.