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.”
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.