Ed Gillespie Joins Mitt Romney Campaign As Senior Adviser

Mitt Romney gained support from one more prominent member of the Republican establishment Thursday, as it was announced that Ed Gillespie, a political strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush, is joining his campaign as a senior adviser.

"I am pleased that Ed is joining my team," Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said in a press release. "He brings a wealth of experience that will prove invaluable in the political battle that lies ahead. Barack Obama is building a $1 billion campaign war machine, and Ed will play an important role in countering it."

In his volunteer position with Romney, Gillespie will offer counsel and help with strategy and messaging. It's an area in which Gillespie has significant experience -- he also served as the Republican National Committee chairman and has worked on a number of GOP campaigns, as well as founding, with Karl Rove, conservative super PAC American Crossroads. Politico first reported the news that he is joining the Romney campaign early Thursday morning.

There were some hints Gillespie would sign on in some capacity. He said in March that extending the nomination process until the August Republican National Convention would be damaging to the party.

"I don't think it would be healthy. I think it's fractious," he said on CNN. "I think we'd be better off to have a nominee clearly identified and making the case against President Obama for as long as we can."

He also said at the time that Romney has "authenticity, a willingness to stick to principles and say what he believes."

Gillespie said in March that he voted for Romney in the Virginia primary.

Ari Fleischer, a former spokesman to George W. Bush, congratulated Gillespie Thursday on the role.

"Congratulations to Ed Gillespie for being named senior adviser to Romney," he tweeted. "Romn couldn't have chosen a better or wiser man."