Ryan's inner circle includes Romney aides, Hill staffers
August 13th, 2012
04:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan's inner circle includes Romney aides, Hill staffers

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Paul Ryan's inner circle has shaped up to include close Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor as well as familiar faces from Capitol Hill, and the vice presidential candidate even gets his own body man.

By the time the presumptive presidential nominee announced his running mate over the weekend the Romney campaign had already hired or assigned many of the 12-person staff working with the V.P. candidate. Some come from Washington Republican circles, others have worked for or spent time on Capitol Hill with the 13-year congressman from Wisconsin and House Budget Committee chair.

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After a rigorous two-day campaign swing together over the weekend, Romney and Ryan parted ways Sunday evening on an airport tarmac and boarded separate planes destined for swing states. A number of aides, including Senor, joined Ryan on the chartered flight from Milwaukee to Des Moines.

A campaign official told reporters that Senor, who was serving as Romney's foreign policy adviser and had accompanied him on his trip overseas to England, Israel and Poland, has become Ryan's senior adviser. Senor is expected to spend time traveling with the candidate. Senor previously had senior roles within the Bush administration.

Kevin Sheridan was hired as communications director for the vice presidential candidate and he will oversee two spokespeople from House Speaker John Boehner's press shop. Sheridan, who once served as a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, left his job at the public relations firm Edelman to join the campaign.

Around the same time in mid-July Randy Bumps joined the team as director of operations. Bumps was working at the public affairs firm Direct Impact and prior to that he worked for the NRSC and RNC serving as regional political director.

Two staffers from Boehner's office, who have had experience defending Ryan's budget plan and pointing to a legislative record as defense, are his two press secretaries. At the beginning of August, Brendan Buck took a leave from his job in Washington to be the press secretary based at campaign headquarters in Boston. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel's first day as traveling press secretary was Saturday when the big announcement was made.

Buck confirmed to CNN that another Boehner policy aide, Dave Stewart, who was advising Romney on economic policy will be Ryan's policy adviser. Marjorie Connell is the scheduling director, Campbell Matthews the travel coordinator, and Keisha Vaughan is the media affairs manager.

Young Romney staffer Jacob Kastan has taken on the role of Ryan's body man, a position made famous this cycle by Mitt Romney body man Garrett Jackson, thanks in part to the behind-the-scenes photos and updates about "the Gov" that he posts on Twitter. Kastan, who goes by Jake, joined the campaign in March as an advance lead.

Joey Smith has been an advance lead since January and will be Ryan's director of V.P. candidate advance and trip director, or for those who know his Romney counterpart, he said he has the "Charlie Pierce" role but for the vice president.

Smith and Brent Swander, Ryan's director of press advance, both volunteered for the White House advance office when President George W. Bush was in office. Swander, who will work the closest with traveling reporters, also worked on the McCain-Pain presidential campaign in 2008.

Because the Ryan pick was such a closely guarded secret between Romney and longtime aide Beth Myers who led the search effort, many of this core group found out who they were going to work for when everyone else did.

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Filed under: Dan Senor • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Who's runing for president anyway ,romney the tax cheat ,or the upstart hot dog car driver Ryan the teabag extremest. Romney the tax cheat should just step aside ,and where's your tax returns moron????? Gop hot dog bus wreck in Nov.

    August 13, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. American People

    The only inner circle the American People need to worry about is the rich people jerking Romney's and Ryan's strings. GOP puppets for the rich. That's about it. Hey Mitt! We want to see you tax returns for the last 20 years.

    August 13, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    A decade in office and only 2 bills passed. And he's a contender for VP? Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahah!

    August 13, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. cali girl

    Sounds like the party of NO is complete, all with the attachments needed.

    August 13, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. 85 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    Well, the clown car is now full. The Grand Obstructionist Party circus will be in full swing in Tampa any day now. Then we'll see if Ron Paul brings out the filibusters and gives the GOBP some of their own medicine.
    Was great to hear Mittens introduce Ryan as the next President of the US.. is he now flip-flopping on his decision to run for President and wants the VP spot. Neither stand a chance in Nov, the American people can't be that dumb!

    August 13, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. R H

    I can't wait for my kids to clean my depends diaper, feed me and give me sponge baths. Just like I did for them when they were young. I bet they can use that Ryan voucher for the Diapers. Romney/Ryan bumper sticker. Seniors Curl up and Die Romney/Ryan 2012

    August 13, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    highly organized and hitting the ground running..... damn romney is good!

    August 13, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. myviewis

    I am sure Senior Citizens have been thrilled, overjoyed that Obama has not given them a Cost-of-Living increase in 3 years. Notice how Democrats don't care to respond to Senior Citizens complaining of their lack of money???? And how Obama has forgotten them and how Obama has taken $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare???? Democrats know when to ignore facts that don't help Obama.

    August 13, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. myviewis

    H

    I can't wait for my kids to clean my depends diaper, feed me and give me sponge baths. Just like I did for them when they were young. I bet they can use that Ryan voucher for the Diapers. Romney/Ryan bumper sticker. Seniors Curl up and Die Romney/Ryan 2012
    ---------------------------

    Don't worry, stick to Obama and your kids will get to clean your diapers, feed you if they can find some money and if you have enough money to pay your water bill than I guess they will give you sponge baths. Hey, how about those Senior Citizens who haven't had additional monies the last 3 years and are having to go through what you just described?????

    August 13, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "highly organized and hitting the ground running..... damn romney is good!"

    "highly organized and hitting the ground running" is being incapable of addressing simple, straightfoward questions about something Lapdog shoudl be well-versed in and already ready to fight about and defend...his own Medicare changes....when asked by Wolf Blitzer today? Interesting.

    August 13, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Michael

    Paul Ryan's Mitt express to hypocrisy! He, Boehner, Mcconnell & gang all voted and supported everthing George Bushsigned into law and did! Mitt signs into law a healthcare mandate, now he say it's unconstitutional and demands repeal of a Healthcare plan he was the "father" of and similarly implemented in Massachusetts! Repuglican spin machine wants this to a non-issue, like the, evaporation of 1/2 trillion surplus, -8.9 GDP, 11 trillion national debt, 1.3 trillion deficit, 2.8 trillion in tax cuts (unpaid for)2 Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), 3 trillion borrowed from China, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis’s, losing over 800,000 jobs monthly and a economy on the brink of depression when President Obama took office! Repuglican spin is that this economy belongs to Obama! Well, when this country is out the economic pitfall started under George Bush, I will agree! Until then, President Obama is still cleaning up repuglican mess of 6 years total control and 8 years Presidential control, whose policies and spending hit our economic structure, like the iceberg that struck the Titanic! Now, these same repuglican "Talking Heads" who sponsored, voted and defended these disastrous policies, want

    August 13, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. jo an

    If I had Romney/Ryan's life style...I'd want GOVERNMENT out of my life, too. Well, I hope I wouldn't!! I do understand their Narcissist VIEW!!

    August 13, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. edog

    truth hurts

    highly organized and hitting the ground running..... damn romney is good!
    -------------------–

    Just like Romney organized and hitting the ground running on his "Trip of Seas" . He did such a great job that he was able to offend our greatest alley, the UK. Why don't Romney organize his taxes and release them already.

    August 13, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Welcome to the "Ryan Budget Plan" aka as the Holocaust against the most vulunerable Americans and he's promised it won't stop there.

    August 13, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @myviewis: "I am sure Senior Citizens have been thrilled, overjoyed that Obama has not given them a Cost-of-Living increase in 3 years."

    You are such a liar! From the Social Security Administration website:

    "Social Security benefits will increase by 3.6 percent beginning with the December 2011 benefits, which are payable in January 2012. Federal SSI payment levels will also increase by 3.6 percent effective for payments made for January 2012. Because the normal SSI payment date is the first of the month and January 1 is a holiday, the SSI payments for January are always made at the end of the previous December."

    Repubs and their lackeys know when to ignore facts that don't help their pathetic, lying, hypocritical candidates ....

    August 13, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Bush-Cheney v2.0

    Romney will play Bush. The clueless presidential hopeful.

    Starring Ryan behind the scenes doing the dirty and extreme right-wing/neo-con work.

    Sure starting to look that way.........................

    August 13, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. w l jones

    How can these canidate change anything they all Washington insider..the more they try to change more the same.

    August 13, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, the inner circle of spokesmen who tell reporters to kiss his behind or the spokeswoman who says that if the couple whose wife died had lived in MA would have had health care insurance through romney care.
    That inner circle? I rather swim with sharks!

    August 13, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wow... What a homecoming you got Paul... Too bad it wasn't in your home town. Now, just why WAS that...?

    August 13, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. kayla

    myviews you need to check on the unpaid wars bush have us in

    August 13, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. Thomas

    @myviewis
    I am sure Senior Citizens have been thrilled, overjoyed that Obama has not given them a Cost-of-Living increase in 3 years. Notice how Democrats don't care to respond to Senior Citizens complaining of their lack of money???? And how Obama has forgotten them and how Obama has taken $500 billion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare???? Democrats know when to ignore facts that don't help Obama.

    The only thing your sure of is doing the same failed Bush doctrine over and over. INSANITY !

    When you find those WMDs , then your credibility will be valid .

    August 13, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    Hey vp nominee, you know where you can stick those thumbs. The "entitlements" of working Americans are NOT freebies.
    Your own party is against your budget and ideas and this twit picks you to be his vp nominee?
    Can two men be more dumb and strange looking together?

    August 13, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. SD

    Re Ryan / Romney budget:

    I hope that you didn't require federally subsidized loans to attend college, and that your family won't need them, either, and that you have sufficient assets to buy private health insurance when you are 80, because under the Ryan plan, that's what you'll have to do, and I'm sure it will be really affordable individual coverage for old people, and if there is a fire at your house, I hope you intend to put it out yourself, and I am guessing you don't use the interstate highway system, or fly anywhere, because you couldn't do that without the government created by the taxes that we, the people, pay.

    Instead of joining the bandwagon of "personal freedom" versus government, perhaps you should make a list of the myriad ways in which you, and the rest of society, benefit from the government's role in our lives. You know that little thing called the internet, which enabled you to post your views, developed out of government supported research. In fact, most of high tech benefited enormously from government supported research in silicon valley in the 40s and 50s, you know, when real patriots were proud to pay taxes, and valued the government initiatives that improved all of their, and now our, lives. And I hope you never get cancer, because you couldn't possibly accept treatment that might have been developed through research funded by the federal government.

    The list goes on. Maybe you should consider living on a deserted island somewhere. Lots of personal liberty there.

    August 13, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. SD

    Catholic bishops have called the Ryan budget "unjustified and wrong" and failing a moral test. In April the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a public letter to the House of Representatives saying that the federal budget must "protect poor, vulnerable people." In their letter the bishops set out three moral criteria to guide budget decisions. (The Ryan budget ignores all three.)
    •Every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity.
    •A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects "the least of these" (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.
    •Government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times

    August 13, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Ryan also voted against the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan.

    August 14, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
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