The Republican National Committee will move to formalize its ties to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign after declaring him the party's presumptive nominee, chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement provided to National Journal.
"Gov. Romney’s strong performance and delegate count at this stage of the primary process has made him our party’s presumptive nominee," Priebus said in the statement, first reported by The Fix blog in The Washington Post. "In order to maximize our efforts I have directed my staff at the RNC to open lines of communication with the Romney campaign. We will ensure that our finance, political and communications teams are fully synchronized. I am excited that these two top-notch operations will start to integrate and present a unified team to defeat Barack Obama."
The RNC and Romney's campaign opened a joint fundraising account earlier this month, and the two organizations have been holding behind-the-scenes meetings to prepare for their eventual merger, according to several participants in those meetings.
Romney's camp has tapped several trusted advisers and former aides as key liaisons to various RNC departments. Brian Jones, a senior Romney advisor, will serve as the chief liaison between Romney and the RNC. Veteran operative Ward Baker will coordinate the political and field teams. And Kevin Madden, Romney's 2008 press secretary, will serve as an advisor to both communications teams.