Transcript: Face to Face with Rick Tyler

Bob Schieffer: Well welcome to Face to Face, our informal middle-of-the-week webcast from the folks at Face the Nation. And our guest today, Rick Tyler, who runs the big Super PAC for Newt Gingrich. You know a lot of people don't understand, what is a Super PAC?

Rick Tyler: A super PAC is ultimately the result of the members of Congress who wanted to quell free speech and it ended up in a Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, you know it well and the Court ruled - they ruled correctly in my opinion, but too narrowly - and that is they said that individuals and corporations can give money to influence money whether positive or negative, but they didn't give it to the candidates and so here we are. We have people who are very wealthy and companies who are giving money to Super PACs but candidates are excluded.

Bob Schieffer: So what's the difference in giving to the Super PAC and giving to the campaign? I guess number one you can give an unlimited amount, and you can give it anonymously?

Rick Tyler: You cannot give it anonymously although there is some delay, but the Super PACs are completely transparent. It takes about a month and then you know where all the contributions come from. Problem with the candidate is they're limited to $2,500 apiece, and you know in today's modern media market, buying time, raising money at $2,500 apiece and buying time on airwaves, there's a disconnect there and so Super PACs have sort of filled that in where you can raise money very quickly to run lots of advertising, mostly television. But notice that the ads don't say "I'm Newt Gingrich, I approve this message" or "I'm Mitt Romney, I approve this message." And I don't know why we're afraid of freedom. We should let the candidates raise as much money as possible, let them put their name on the ads. Bob Schieffer: But you can't say in a Super PAC ad, "Vote for Newt Gingrich."

Rick Tyler: Sure they can.

Bob Schieffer: Can they?

Rick Tyler: Yeah.

Bob Schieffer: You can do anything they would in a regular ad except?

Rick Tyler: You can do anything. You can say vote for or against any particular candidate or any particular issue.

Bob Schieffer: But there can be no connection between the Super PAC and the candidate?

Rick Tyler: Right, there can be no coordination. The reason for - I don't know the reason for that, it's kind of silly. In effect I can't call up the campaign and say, "Look we're going to spend a lot of money in Pennsylvania so steer clear of Pennsylvania, or spend your money doing something else." We cannot do that. Or, "We're saying this and we're finding this message to be highly effective so why don't you say it too?" Or vice versa. That, we can't do.

Bob Schieffer: So if I said to you, "What's Newt Gingrich going to do next?" what would you say?

Rick Tyler: Check his website, I have no idea.

Bob Schieffer: What do you think he ought to do? What does the Super PAC think he ought to do?

Rick Tyler: The Super PAC serves Newt so I think that, we've all said we're going to serve Newt. And if Newt wants to stay all the way to the convention, we're going to be there. You know in many ways, Bob, you've followed his career for 30 years and a lot of the debate we're having about the Republican party and politics in general today are things that Newt Gingrich talked about years ago. That is, we're talking about now returning to balanced budgets. Newt Gingrich balanced budgets. We're talking about paying off the debt, Newt Gingrich paid off $400 billion worth of debt. Newt Gingrich talked about reforming entitlement programs, which we're talking about today. He's the only guy who's actually reformed an entitlement program. In a sense he built the Republican party to be the conservative alternative to the Democratic party. I think he wants to stay in because he wants to give those who helped build the party an alternative and they do not feel Mitt Romney is their alternative.

Bob Schieffer: What is his path to the nomination?

Rick Tyler: It's got to be an open convention. And gee we haven't had one. We sort of had an open convention back in 1976, probably didn't have a full-blown one until back in the fifties. And so no one knows what it's going to be like. Is there a path for Newt to win? Absolutely. If Mitt Romney does not arrive in Tampa with the requisite number of delegates, I suspect there will be an initial vote and if he were to fail that vote I don't think there'd be a lot of support for him on the second or subsequent votes, and therefore it would be a race between Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. And in that situation I can imagine that a Newt Gingrich could emerge. And the reason is the people who go to Tampa are delegates. These are not casual observers. These are people involved in the party a long time. They've watched the party, they've seen Newt's career, they know who's done what. They know Mitt Romney's career, they know Rick Santorum's career they know Newt Gingrich's career. And so I think there's a very real possibility.

Bob Schieffer: Refresh my memory. The people who are delegates, they are bound to the candidates for what, one vote? One round?

Rick Tyler: For sure. That is, after the first vote we know no one is bound. For sure, but there's even a lot of, there's a lot of opinions about the rules. The way I read it, no one is truly bound at all. Other people read it differently. I noticed on the RNC website today, none of the delegates which Rick Santorum won in Louisiana are bound, they're all free agents even though he won the vote.

Bob Schieffer: Why do you think - I mean you're obviously, you speak from a certain point of view - but why do you think it's been hard for Mitt Romney to close this deal?

Rick Tyler: I think it's been hard for Mitt Romney to close the deal because he has had such an inconsistent record compared to what he's saying today. He has tried to make the case he's been consistent. But on just virtually every issue that the base truly cares about - from gun control to taxation to job growth to abortion - he has had, by any objective standard, an inconsistent record. I mean all politicians you know, at some point, have inconsistent statements and sometimes inconsistent policies. Health care mandate's a perfect example. He said he is now opposed to a healthcare mandate, yet, a Massachusetts law which was RomneyCare instituted a healthcare mandate. He went on to say that that should serve as a model to the nation. He went on to acknowledge that the ObamaCare was followed that model. Now he's saying something totally different.

Bob Schieffer: Well do you think he's a phony?

Rick Tyler: I don't know that I want to say he's a phony, but I don't understand how, why he could be so inconsistent. If you are truly against the health care law, then disavow what Massachusetts did. There may be a distinction between federal law and state law, but they both had a federal mandate and the base seems to be pretty clear about being against the mandate. He has claimed to some sense that he has been pro-life for most of his life. He's very clearly said - he's been on record as being pro-choice since his mother ran for the U.S. Senate back in 1970. That was three years before Roe v. Wade. It's just been consistent he isn't - the other thing is he doesn't speak the language of a conservative. He doesn't speak the language that Newt Gingrich has used for most of his political career. He doesn't understand the Tea Party, for instance. And he doesn't understand people who are - feel and see threats to our Constitution. He doesn't understand why gas prices - which he, as Massachusetts governor raised gas prices by adding taxes to them and also he was on record saying we should have higher gas prices. He doesn't understand why the American people say that's wrong, we should have lower gas prices, we should have more domestic energy production and self-sufficiency.

Bob Schieffer: So you can't say, because you don't have any direct connection with Newt Gingrich, you can't say what he's going to do but you clearly seem to feel that he is going to stay and he is going all the way to the convention.

Rick Tyler: I've known Newt Gingrich a long time and I do remember when he passed the Contract with America, one of the things he was asked in 1994 was what are you going to do now? He said well we're going to implement the contract, and he did that. He fulfilled the contract, his pledge to the voters - his side of the contract. He says he's going to the convention, unless there's some extraordinary circumstance, I believe that he'll go to the convention.

Bob Schieffer: Who's more conservative: Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum?

Rick Tyler: I've always avoided these questions because you get into varying degrees of conservatism. I think on some issues Rick has a good record of being conservative, but he has many inconsistencies. He has a very pro-labor voting record, which does not go over well with conservatives who believe in right-to-work. He's twice voted to unionize FedEx, he's voted consistently for the minimum wage. And on the life issue, frankly he's at odds with the conservative base who's pro-life and that is because he endorsed not only Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey for U.S. Senate but he also endorsed Arlen Specter for president. And then he said the reason I'm endorsing Arlen Specter for U.S. Senate is because he's going to be there with us on the votes that we need him. Well everybody now knows that Arlen Specter was the decisive vote in ObamaCare. So in a sense Romney invented ObamaCare, but Rick Santorum gave it to us. Bob Schieffer: Alright, Rick Tyler. Hope we talk to you again down the trail. Thanks for being with us. Rick Tyler: So glad to be here.

Bob Schieffer: And don't forget to watch Face the Nation, this Sunday on Television. I'm Bob Schieffer.