Presidential races

Rep. McMorris Rodgers to serve as Romney’s liaison to the House

Mitt Romney has tapped Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) as his liaison to the House, his campaign announced Monday.

McMorris Rodgers will join Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Romney’s point man in the Senate, in leading the campaign’s efforts to coordinate with members of Congress as the GOP presidential nominee campaigns against President Obama.

“She understands the impact of the economic challenges Americans face and the need to put our country on a better track,” Romney said in a statement. “As a member of the leadership team in the House, she will be a helpful partner in our efforts to ensure our focus remains on the critical issue of economic security for all Americans.”

As the vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, McMorris Rodgers is a member of the GOP leadership and is the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House. She is responsible for coordinating messaging, policy and logistics for the 242-member GOP conference.

The congresswoman told The Hill that Romney wants to hear from GOP lawmakers and involve them in his campaign and policy discussions, especially regarding the budget, energy and healthcare. 

{mosads}”It is important that we start working together on all of these issues. [Romney] wants to involve the members, not just in his campaign but also — as we’re thinking through these issues — he wants to hear from them, hear their expertise, hear their experiences and glean from all of that so he can be as strong as possible on all of these fronts moving forward,” McMorris Rodgers said in a phone interview. 

McMorris Rodgers said she intends to hold weekly meetings and conference calls (since the Romney campaign is based in Boston) with lawmakers and Romney officials as soon as possible. 

“We want to start having regular meetings between the members with the campaign folks so they have an understanding of what the campaign is doing — week in and week out, where they are, what’s anticipated, whether they are going to be visiting their particular state, also on the messaging front, what the priorities are — just so the members understand where the campaign is coming from,” McMorris Rodgers said.

An early and vocal supporter of his bid for the White House, McMorris Rodgers endorsed Romney in early December — before the start of the primary contests — and serves as his Washington state co-chairwoman. She has been a frequent and prominent surrogate for Romney, defending him against attacks on his business record and taking Obama on over women’s issues.

McMorris Rodgers is scheduled to hold a fundraiser Monday with Romney in Washington state. An aide to the congresswoman said $3.5 million has already been raised for the event, with the possibility that the fundraiser will yield more than $4 million. 

— This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Justin Sink contributed.

Tags Cathy McMorris Rodgers Roy Blunt

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