Rick Tyler, who quit Newt Gingrich's campaign when it was in the doldrums only to watch his old boss soar in the polls, is rejoining the Gingrich effort just as the candidate's lead in polls disappears. Tyler publicly begged Gingrich to take him back when he was polling 20 points ahead of Mitt Romney -- only six months after he and a dozen other staffers abandoned Gingrich for not being serious enough about the presidential campaign. Two weeks ago, through NPR's Guy Raz, Tyler groveled, "Newt, if I let you down, I'm sorry." On Tuesday, The Washington Post's Amy Garnder reports that Tyler joined a pro-Gingrich super PAC called Win Our Future. He starts his new job just as polls showed Romney had taken back the lead from Gingrich.
Tyler was not one of the Gingrich staffers who joined Rick Perry's campaign, a decision that looks pretty bad in hindsight. Perry was the hot new maybe-candidate all summer, but his lead in polls evaporated once he started talking out loud. Still, Tyler's timing is pretty terrible. Win Our Future will buy national TV and radio ads, Tyler told The Post, and will talk about Gingrich's record. "Under Speaker Gingrich, 11 million jobs were created, $400 billion in debt was paid off, 60 percent of welfare rolls were reduced, all while cutting taxes," Tyler said. "That's an immovable fact. No one has a record to compare with that conservative record." But Win Our Future's ads will air long after rival campaigns started airing a ton of attacks against Gingrich's record. And, as The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny points out, Gingrich attacked the negative ads aired by super PACs on Monday. The Los Angeles Times reports Gingrich told an Iowa crowd Monday, "I really wish they would have the courage to be positive, and I wish they would have the courage to have a campaign which would match ideas [rather] than see whose consultants can be the nastier."