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Mitt Romney’s campaign adds staff amid criticism

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Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is adding two seasoned political hands to bolster the communications operation, moves that come in the wake of high profile criticism of the former Massachusetts governor’s operation from the likes of Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

Danny Diaz and Kevin Sheridan have both signed on to the campaign as senior advisors in an effort to strengthen an expanding Romney effort in the final four months (or so) before the November election.

In this July 11, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Houston, Texas. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney's campaigns traded accusations of lying Thursday, ratcheting up an already heated race for the White House. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Diaz, a former Republican National Committee communications director and deputy communications director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, will help guide the campaign’s rapid response effort while Sheridan, a senior vice president at Edelman and a former RNC spokesman, will work hand in hand with communications director Gail Gitcho on long term communications planning for events like the national convention and the general elections debates.

“Danny and Kevin are talented campaign vets who are battle-tested and ready to jump in and help out in the last 116 days,” said Gitcho. “We are thrilled to have them join the Romney team.”

The additions come roughly two weeks after Romney came under heavy criticism from Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp., as well as other conservative voices for what was described as a campaign simply not ready to compete with the professionalism of President Obama’s operation.

At the time, the Romney campaign rejected the idea that there was any problem with its senior staff and noted that plans were already underway to bolster the communications operation. Sources close to Romney’s bid insist the additions of Diaz and Sheridan had long been in the works.

The moves come at the end of perhaps the most bitterly contested week of the campaign with the two sides trading charges of disingenuousness — or outright lying — over the exact date of Romney’s departure from Bain Capital.

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