Rick Tyler, a senior adviser at Winning Our Future, the pro-Gingrich super PAC, tells National Review Online that Republicans should be concerned about Mitt Romney’s response to King of Bain, the group’s 27-minute documentary about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.
“His defense has been a pathetic performance,” Tyler says. “If he is under this kind of pressure from our PAC, what do you think Axelrod and Obama are going to do to him with a billion dollars? He is not prepared to go head to head against Barack Obama. They’ll make mincemeat out of him.”
“Show us the evidence, let’s see the numbers,” Tyler says, challenging the Romney campaign to document the jobs created by Bain Capital. “I don’t have an issue with Romney’s role in the free-market system; I think it was necessary. But don’t tell me you’re an eagle when you’re a vulture.”
“They’re acting as if my criticism is some sort of heresy,” Tyler says. “Mitt Romney is not the nominee. This is a competitive race. Just like free enterprise is competitive, politics is competitive, too.” More than irking the Romney campaign, the reaction to the film, he says, “shows that Romney does not actually have broad shoulders, and that maybe he’s not a big boy,” one ready for a general election.
Indeed, Tyler, whose group cannot communicate with the Gingrich campaign, says he will not scale back the Romney attacks, even though there are press reports of Gingrich softening his anti-Bain rhetoric.
“We may have different roles but I don’t think they’re inconsistent,” Tyler says. “I don’t think that [Gingrich] needs to waste a lot of time pointing out Romney’s record; we get to do that. I read all of these press accounts about Newt backing off and I say, no, he has not. He’s promoting himself.”
Winning Our Future, he says, will spend $3.4 million in South Carolina in coming days, promoting snippets from King of Bain on statewide television, on radio, and on heavy Internet advertising.
And about the report that Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and funder of the group, is unhappy with King of Bain and the tone of the attacks? “I haven’t heard that,” Tyler says. “We’re not backing off.”
Tyler is also indifferent about growing media scrutiny of the film’s accuracy, and he shrugs off Glenn Kessler’s fact-checking in the Washington Post. “It’s kind of interesting that the press, who failed to do its job on Bain, is mad at me because we did our job on Bain,” he says. “[Reporters] missed the story… Most voters do not know anything about Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, other than what he tells us.”
Kessler, he adds, in grading the film’s content, makes too much of one woman’s off-hand comment that Romney owns 15 homes. “This is a real person, not an actor, who had lost her home, and she was angry,” Tyler says. “Kessler called that a ‘Pinocchio,’ but that’s just hyperbole, and it’s ridiculous that they would hold her to account on an inaccuracy, like she’s some politician. She is someone who lost her house.”