Key Boehner Aide Expected To Join Ryan’s VP Staff

Michael Steel will defend Paul Ryan’s record, sources say.

JOHN GRESS / Reuters

WASHINGTON, DC – Speaker John Boehner’s press secretary is expected to join the growing team GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has built for his vice presidential nominee, Republican sources said Saturday.

According to several sources, Press Secretary Michael Steel – one of Boehner’s closest advisors and a close friend of Romney advisor Kevin Madden – would likely join the campaign as part of Romney’s vice presidential nominee’s staff.

These sources said that Steel has been in discussions with Romney’s camp for some time to join the campaign in some capacity. Steel has had ties to Romney dating back to the 2008 GOP primary, and he is part of a tight knit group of Republican operatives in Washington that includes Madden and which has rallied around the GOP nominee.

Steel did not immediately return a request for comment.

Romney has tapped House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee, and bringing Steel into the fold makes sense: in addition to his relationship with other Romney staffers, Steel has become accustomed to the sort of attacks on Ryan and his controversial budget that will be level against him in the coming days.

Steel is not the first member of Boehner’s staff Romney has recruited: earlier this week press aide Brendan Buck – who was Boehner’s go-to man for attacks on the White House – jumped ship to join hi vice presidential team.

Steel is a former reporter who has years of experience on Capitol Hill, and Romney’s camp could be banking on his ability to work with journalists covering the campaign, something his camp has had difficulty with.

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