RNC officially backs Mitt Romney

rnc_mitt_romney_republican_presidential_nominee_official_april_2012.jpg

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally titled "A Better America Begins Tonight" at the Radisson Hotel April 24, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Credit:

Chip Somodevilla

After sweeping five primaries, Mitt Romney began coordinating with the Republican National Committee on Wednesday to shift gears towards the general election, according to The Washington Post.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, "Governor Romney’s strong performance and delegate count at this stage of the primary process has made him our party’s presumptive nominee." He added, "In order to maximize our efforts I have directed my staff at the RNC to open lines of communication with the Romney campaign," according to The Post.

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According to The New York Times, the synchronization between the two operations will be overseen by Brian Jones, a veteran Republican strategist, as chief liaison. Others who will help coordinate include Ward Baker, a political consultant, and Kevin Madden, a former Romney spokesman.

Priebus emphasized last week that the merger would not remove or replace officials. He said, "It’s my intention to have a seamless and complete merger between the presumptive nominee and the Republican National Committee," according to The Times.

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Meanwhile, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich all but conceded that his campaign was over on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. He called for the party to unite behind Romney, whom he expected to be the GOP nominee.

"I think obviously that I would be a better candidate, but the objective fact is the voters didn't think that," Gingrich said, according to The Atlantic. He added, "And I also think it's very, very important that we be unified."

According to Fox News, a senior Gingrich aide said Gingrich plans to formally suspend his campaign next Tuesday.

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