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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / campaign 2012

Romney Hires Santorum Campaign Manager

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney (right) has hired the former campaign manager for Rick Santorum (left).(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
April 26, 2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign has hired Rick Santorum’s former campaign manager, Mike Biundo, as part of its effort to attract more support from conservatives.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said he called Biundo the day after Santorum’s April 10 exit from the race, and that Biundo then sought the blessing of his former boss before taking the job. The news was first reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader, a newspaper in the state where Biundo got his start in politics and where he met Williams, also a former New Hampshire political operative.

Santorum has yet to endorse Romney, though he said in a CNN interview earlier this week that he would support the former Massachusetts governor as the nominee. Santorum’s backing will help Romney gain legitimacy with voters who describe themselves as very conservative. They were key to Santorum’s 11 victories in the GOP primary campaign, and they have been one of the constituencies most resistant to the choice of Romney as the party’s standard-bearer. The hiring of Biundo no doubt also will help Romney energize conservative voters.

 

Biundo told the Union Leader that he will work to court tea party voters, evangelical Christians, anti-abortion advocates and gun owners. “Mike’s the perfect person to do that. He’s a hard worker," said former Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart. "He’s the perfect person to help coalesce these people for Romney.”

Williams said: “Mike Biundo ran an outstanding campaign for Senator Santorum, and we are excited that he has agreed to bring his considerable skills and abilities to our team. His decision to join Governor Romney’s campaign is another indication that Republicans are coalescing around Governor Romney’s pro-jobs, pro-growth message and quickly uniting to defeat President Obama.”

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