Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will announce his running mate at the beginning of a four-day, four-state bus tour in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET, his campaign announced in a statement late Friday night.
Three Republican sources told CNN that Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be Romney’s running mate pick. GOP sources also told CNN that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman have all been told that they won’t be getting the nod.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Romney called several of the Republicans on his vice presidential shortlist on Friday evening to tell them he has selected a running mate and to thank them for assisting with his campaign, a Republican familiar with the calls told CNN. Romney did not indicate on the calls who he had selected as his running mate, according to the source.
Three Republicans close to the Romney campaign told CNN that key staffers have been told to prepare for the rollout on Saturday morning, when Romney tours the U.S.S. Wisconsin, a museum battleship at the National Maritime Center in Norfolk.
Communications staffers for the Romney campaign have been ordered to report to their Boston headquarters at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, an unusual directive for a weekend, a Republican familiar with the plans told CNN.
There were other signals that Romney-world was ramping up for a splashy weekend: Much of the Romney high command flew with the candidate from Boston to Norfolk on Friday afternoon, including Beth Myers, the adviser tasked with running the vice presidential search process, and Will Ritter, the campaign's director of advance who rarely leaves his spacious corner office in Boston's North End.
READ MORE: Romney's short list: Is Ryan ready to run?
Ann Romney, the candidate's wife, also landed in Norfolk after her trip to the Olympic Games in London.
The bus tour itself has also been driving vice presidential chatter since its itinerary was first revealed by CNN early last week.
The campaign swing will take Romney through major media markets in four battleground states – Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.
Romney will be joined at various stops by bold-faced names in Republican politics; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, one potential running mate, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Richmond native, were set to join Romney at stops in the commonwealth on Saturday.
The appearance of a private plane that had traveled from Boston to Janesville, Wisconsin – the home of Rep. Paul Ryan, a top contender for Romney's number two – added fuel to the Ryan rumor mill after the plane's itinerary was reported by The National Review just before 6 p.m. on the east coast.
The Ryan talk on Friday evening seemed to confirm late speculation that the prospects for the two supposed VP frontrunners, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, have faded in recent days.
The Friday buzz instead centered on Ryan and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is on vacation with his family and whose whereabouts are known only by a handful of advisers.
Rubio has long been dismissed as a serious contender by Beltway insiders thanks to his relative lack of experience, his controversial use of a Republican Party of Florida credit card and his friendship with scandal-tainted Rep. David Rivera.
But his stock has risen in recent weeks, knowledgeable Republicans said, especially with internal Romney polling showing the campaign with abysmal numbers among Hispanic voters in Florida.
The Romney camp has also come under considerable pressure from the conservative pundit class to pick a running mate more "bold" than Portman or Pawlenty.
The Friday evening rumor mill sent political reporters scrambling, with some even dialing Obama campaign strategists in Chicago in a desperate but fruitless search for more clues.
And yet many Republicans who spoke to CNN – all of them granted anonymity to speak freely without angering Romney officials in Boston - wondered why Romney would announce the pick on a weekend when millions of potential voters are likely to be distracted by the Olympics, PGA golf, late season baseball and the box office release of the latest Bourne thriller.
"This is probably just the Romney campaign jerking with the press," said one Republican operative close to one of Romney's potential running mates, referring to the private jet in Wisconsin.
Many rank-and-file Romney staffers contacted by CNN remained clueless about plans for VP rollout, but admitted that it would only take a late night phone call and a few hours to fly Romney's pick into Virginia from Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio or elsewhere early on Saturday morning.
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
The choice of Paul Ryan by Mitt Romney may be just what is needed to both energize the GOP Conservative base AND put the focus of the campaign exactly where it should be: On the economy, the insane national debt and deficit, and the inevitable consequences of failing to address those problems.
Sure, Ryan will be attacked with every weapon at the Democrat's disposal in a desperate effort to continue to make the campaign about anything BUT the economy and the inevitable steps that WILL have to be taken to deal with it.
Ryan has demonstrated he can deal with Democrat smear tactics and demagogry and remain undistracted, stay on message, and deal with those gutter tactics with the plain facts and truth, presented clearly, concisely, and in a manner everyone can understand.
This just might be the best choice Romney could make, and for all the right reasons!.
Ryan is an excellent choice for Romney. Hopefully Ryan's libertarian notions will overcome Romney's liberal ones.
What a sad choice for America and the Republic Party! Just a little better than having a Palin on the ticket. Why couldn't it have been Romney/Rice. At least then he would have had a little better chance of winning in November.
ROMNEY MADE A GOOD DECISION AT THIS TIME IN AMERICA'S HISTORY
PALPABLE FEAR BY DEMOCRATS IS WARRANTED.....
The jig is up, your gravy train will be sold off like a bad Amtrak Line.
Come to think of it, Socialist Democrat Orthodoxy is ALL bad Amtrak Lines.
Honest numbers, straight talk, engaged electorate (Tea Party) will hold them accountable while ALL of the Socialist Democrats are marginalized into the trash heap of failure that is their cornerstone.
BYE BYE OBUMBLES - BYE BYE HARRY REID - BYE BYE SOCIALISM
Let the games begin!
Poor Guy. Beware of Willard Mitt Robmy !
He has proven once again that he is that out of touch. Maybe Diebold voting machines are going to give him the election, worked W in 04 in Oh.
paul ryan according to ap
This is the Mccain/Palin race all over again, now we will have to listen to degrading Romney jokes for the next 4 years.
They're probably just saying it's Ryan to throw people off. Think about it....Romney wouldn't be so dumb as to choose an atheist, Ayn Rand-loving, me-first kind of guy to be vice president of the United States. Good grief.
Since Mitt showed his taxes to the IRS & hid them from us, we could never trust him as a leader. Ryan can't help.
"Rubio has long been dismissed as a serious contender by Beltway insiders thanks to his relative lack of experience, his controversial use of a Republican Party of Florida credit card and his friendship with scandal-tainted Rep. David Rivera."
CNN isn't biased at all...
This country was broken by Bush and we are still paying for it. As much as I think things are not going well in this country, I definitely don't believe getting rid of the middle class (like these two want to do) is going to make it any better. We have a person running for president and he won't even release his tax returns...despite his FATHER starting the PRECEDENT!!!
What happens if "Presumptive Republican VP nominee" Rep. Paul Ryan releases 10 years of tax returns?
I don't think Ryan was a good choice for a running mate. I think Romney's chances are decreasing rapidly now. Sadly.
Mitt Romney is a greedy person who has gotten rich by gaming the system and evading taxes. This team means more and more pain for the middle class, while he pays nearly $80 000 per year to take care of a single horse with better health care than most americans.
Great news!!!!! Now the country will have no teachers to teach, you know Ryan hates teachers just like his buddy Walker, lets give the rich more tax breaks, they need it more than the poor....."poor people should go in a corner and die" signed Paul Ryan
Good for u Mittens Wrong-ney!!! In many ways Mr Ryan is just like Ms Palin only difference being he's a tad smarter and then there's the gender thing.
Palin Part 2.
Its ironic that the announcement will be made on the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), a battleship, which is to say a 20th century attempt to recreate a 19th century relic that was obsolete by the time it was launched. Not unlike the Republican party.
Romney picks Ryan.. the GOP can kiss the election goodbye. Ryan = END to Social Security, Medicare.. You really want to loose the elderly vote? The GOP are so outside of reality its mind boggling.
Release your taxes! What are you hiding?
Ryan is the best pun liner!
Really who cares ? A presidential candidate that refuses to be transparent regarding his tax returns just expects people to vote for him on just his word. Now if this is not an elitist mind set I am not sure what is. Either he is hiding something or he is not. If he is not then clear the air, be the bigger person and make the Dems look like liars. Also why is healthcare reform a good thing when it is introduced in Massachusetts but when it is something that could help everyone it is a bad idea ? Last but certainly not least, foreign policy. Something Mitt has yet to grasp, he is not running for president of the world. So either he is ignorant in the ways of diplomacy or he is under the impression that everyone should bow down to him including our allies. I guarantee one of his first order of business is to involve the USA in another war. Why, to fund the military industrial complex, for which I am certain he has many many friends that will stand to make billion from government contracts. And the cost of this will be the lives of more American young people. Mitt is the first to criticize Obama over the economy but what exactly are Mitts plans to make it better ? Loosing federal regulations on banks, the FDA, CDC making even more guns available ? I cannot for one-second understand anyone who would claim the same party that the KKK, and any other white supremacist group claims. Next time you are driving down the freeway take a god look around you. The rich are not putting money in their pockets not their employees. They are buying more expensive cars, building more expensive homes. Trickle down economics is not working. If it was working your children would not have to go into debt for 10 years just to pay for a collage education that might land them a slightly better that minimum wage job. The rich in this country are hoarding wealth. They are setting up charities that in most cases give more money to the managers of the charity that the actual cause. They are hiding money is Swiss bank accounts because they do not believe in the American dollar. But wait Mitt is Mormon and religious. Sure religious people can be trusted, right. Well, just how many religious people have been in the news for stealing from the flock so they can drive a rolls. How many have been convicted of child molestation ? Mitt has not give one single valid reason for wanting to be elected other than he wants Obama out of office. Now is that really a platform for making this country better ? Ousting a sitting president that has not been able to get much done because the GOP refuses to work with him on issues and in most cases refuses to do anything that will benefit the middle class ? Trying to doing something is better than doing nothing at all. But if your look at the stock market as an indicator what Obama has been able to accomplish without the help of the GOP s looking pretty good. Another fantastic group of individuals that claim the Republican party are the baptists. Again who in their right mind would associate themselves with a group of people that protest military funerals, refuse to marry people from their own religion in a Baptist church because of the color of their skin. If for no other reason I will be voting for Obama because I don't want to be even remotely associated with a party that claims the KKK, Arian Brotherhood, NRA, Baptist and 99% of the rich people in this country as members of their party. Wake up, if there is an enemy in our government it the racists, gun loving, god fearing GOP. A party that is bound and determined to return our country to the values they hold dear even if they are backed by hate, racism and money disguised in the American flag. This type of thinking is sounding more and more like the Taliban and not the American I know.
Ryan? Really? He's such a radical with Medicare. He'll outshine Mitt thats for sure. Seems like a very poor choice. May stir up the fiscal conservatives but Mitt already had their vote, will not do much for Christians who support the poor, the elderly or their midlife children, etc. If anything it makes me question Mitts thinking, what kind of management selects someone who will outshine their leadership?