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Mitt Romney Starts Quest for Suitable Hill Staffers

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s calculated staff hires include aides to marquee conservative legislators and Republican House Budget Committee personnel.

The Romney campaign also stacked its ranks with budget experts in a pre-emptive counterstrike against Democratic attacks on the Ryan budget. Three Republican House Budget Committee aides, including the committee’s policy director, made the leap to the campaign recently.

Jonathan Burks, the policy director, joined the campaign team along with Stephen Spruiell, a senior adviser and Matthew Hoffman, a budget analyst.

Ryan appeared with Romney at a campaign event Monday in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., along with Gov. Scott Walker and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, formerly the state’s Republican Party chairman.

Romney is a “bedrock of principles” and a “moral compass,” said Ryan, who is widely considered a frontrunner in Romney’s search for a vice presidential candidate.

The appearance was part of a tour of swing states, which also featured Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a one-time presidential candidate.

Romney has endorsed the Ryan budget, and should he pick the plan’s architect as his running mate, the attacks on the budget will be unavoidable. But even still, Democrats have taken to branding the fiscal blueprint as the “Romney-Ryan budget” and have frequently charged that it “ends Medicare as we know it.”

Even following the Monday appearance, Obama’s rapid-response messaging team blasted the duo in an email, stating that Romney would “rubber stamp the Ryan budget.”

Romney also held his first campaign event with Speaker John Boehner in the Ohio Republican’s district over the weekend. Even throughout the contentious GOP primary, Boehner had been thought to back Romney, but the two men had not yet appeared together since Boehner officially endorsed.

And now that Boehner is stepping out with Romney, he is also shipping staff to the campaign.

Romney hired David Stewart, a policy adviser to the Speaker, earlier this month.

Other GOP leadership aides have headed to the campaign, as well. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (Calif.) communications director, Sarah Pompei, became the campaign’s deputy communications director in April.


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