JACKSONVILLE, FL -- It seems turnabout is fair play in Florida, where a prominent supporter of Newt Gingrich showed up this morning at a rally for Mitt Romney following a week of Romney surrogates crashing Gingrich events.
Rick Tyler, a senior strategist and spokesman for Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC, held court at the back of this morning's Romney gathering in Jacksonville.
"I was trying to tweet out the event -- I couldn’t keep up with the lies," Tyler told reporters. "Mitt Romney seems to have a congenital defect. He can’t distinguish the truth from a lie. And that’s evident in his ads, its evident in his speeches."
Tyler, who said he was "having a great time" at the Romney rally, spoke at great length about what he said were Romney's misrepresentations of the former House speaker's record, Romney's character, and his predictions for how the race would continue after Florida.
He called Romney a "disgraceful and despicable candidate," and said that the former Massachusetts governor lied about his record there on issues ranging from abortion to tax increases.
Tyler's appearance follows a week in which prominent Romney supporters shadowed Gingrich at a number of the speaker's events in Florida. Most prominently, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz attended a few events, during which Gingrich's spokesman, R.C. Hammond, got into an audible argument with the congressman.
There were no such fireworks between Tyler and Romney staffers. Several members of Romney's advance team seemed aware of Tyler's presence, with one hovering nearby, but no one confronted Tyler during, or immediately following, the rally.
"I’m trying to be a good guest. I wasn’t offered any coffee and it's cold in here, but other than that..." Tyler said.
Tyler admitted Romney's nearly five-to-one advertising advantage here in Florida would ultimately have an effect on the results here, but said Gingrich was still getting "huge" crowds.
As for his post-Florida predictions for Gingrich's campaign: " He’s going to go on. I guarantee it. I raise you my right hand."