Mitt Romney and RNC move to synchronize efforts

at 07:25 AM ET, 04/25/2012

Less than 24 hours after sweeping five primaries and declaring the Republican presidential nomination fight officially over, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee are moving quickly to coordinate their efforts.

“Governor Romney’s strong performance and delegate count at this stage of the primary process has made him our party’s presumptive nominee,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “In order to maximize our efforts I have directed my staff at the RNC to open lines of communication with the Romney campaign.”

Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus (L) introduces U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney during the Republican National Committee State Chairman's National Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona April 20, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
The leading edge of the synchronization will be four liaisons between the two organizations. Brian Jones, who has been serving as an adviser to Romney since late last year, will lead that effort. Kevin Madden, who served as the press secretary for Romney’s 2008 presidential bid, will advise the communications operation and serve as a DC-based television surrogate for the Romney/RNC effort. Ward Baker, a veteran Tennessee-based GOP strategist, will help coordinate the political and field teams. Ron Kaufman, a veteran RNC member, and Ben Ginsberg, who served as national counsel to Romney’s 2008 race, will also facilitate interaction between the two groups.

Those familiar with the moves emphasized that they were not a takeover of the RNC by the Romney campaign — as has happened in past elections when the identity of the nominee became clear — but rather an integration designed to maximize the effectiveness of the two organizations.

The sources emphasized that there is already considerable closeness — and long-term relationships — between the top leadership of the Romney campaign and the RNC. Jones, for example, served as the communications director at the RNC during the 2006 election.

The fact that Priebus will remain as chairman — and that no new deputy chair will be named — is a vote of confidence in the Wisconsin Republican, who took over a financially moribund committee in the early days of 2011.

The RNC has raised $35.5 million so far this year and closed March with $32.7 million in the bank. The Democratic National Committee has collected $46.5 million and had $24.4 million on hand at the end of last month.The RNC carries $9.9 million in debt; the DNC has $4.9 million in debt.

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