President Obama and Mitt Romney are the main attractions of the 2012 election, but it’s their communications staff that fills the 24/7 news hole with an endless array of quotes, TV appearances and press releases. So who are these talking point specialists you’ll be spending the next six months listening to? Yesterday we took a look at a few of Team Obama’s most prolific voices. Today it’s Romney’s turn. Here’s a rundown of a few of Romney’s top spokesmen and women, many of whom have a long history with the candidate.
is the Romney campaign’s press secretary. Since 2008, when she worked as director of media affairs for the McCain campaign, Saul has worked for Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and served as press secretary for Carly Fiorina’s California Senate bid in 2010. She worked briefly for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate campaign, but resigned when he switched from Republican to Independent to try to defeat Marco Rubio. Saul fills inboxes with memos and statements from the campaign throughout the day, trying to keep Obama off balance with a constant barrage of attacks. You’ll also see her on cable news, like when she sparred
with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien over whether President Obama has created a single net job. She’s also active on Twitter, where she’s been known to get into Twitter spats
with the Obama campaign’s rapid response director Lis Smith over jobs numbers and the economy.
is a senior adviser to Mitt Romney. His relationship to the candidate goes back to Romney’s 2002 gubernatorial bid and he has been heavily involved in his campaigns and career ever since. He began his career as a reporter in Boston but switched over to the political side in 1994. He also works on Scott Brown’s Senate campaign in Massachusetts, which can be a bit awkward when the two candidates split on various issues. GQ dubbed Fehrnstrom “Romney’s balls,” the man who Romney turns to “when someone’s leg needs breaking.” Despite his role as an adviser, Fehrnstrom frequently appears on TV to represent the campaign. He’s also an active voice on Twitter, where he often spars with top aides from the Obama campaign, including that time he brought up
the fact that Barack Obama ate dog meat as a child in Indonesia.
, Romney’s communications director, was reunited with the candidate when she joined his 2012 presidential campaign, having previously served as one of his regional press secretaries on his failed 2008 campaign. After Romney dropped out in 2008, she worked on communications for the McCain campaign. Before joining Romney 2.0 last April, Gitcho helped out at the RNC and — like Fehrnstrom — served as a communications aide for Brown. Defending her boss, Gitcho is unafraid to go for the jugular. Example: In response to a Rick Perry attack ad, Gitcho said in a statement
: “After a mere eight weeks on the trail, Governor Perry is poised to dethrone his one-time boss Al Gore as the most prolific exaggerator and truth-fumbler in presidential campaign history.” Even if you follow campaign coverage closely, you may not see Gitcho too often — she mostly stays behind the scenes, but her statements on behalf of the campaign make her presence well known.
has been variously called a “campaign adviser,” “press secretary,” “spokesman” and “messaging interface between the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee” by The Daily
. While it’s hard to nail down his title, it’s not hard to nail down the man himself, since his easy, photogenic style lands him on cable news quite often. Madden exhibits fewer attack-dog tendencies than the rest of the Romney communications staff. Like Gitcho, he was a communications aide on Romney’s first presidential run. His past stints also include working for Bush-Cheney in 2004, Majority Leader John Boehner and the McCain campaign in 2008.