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.
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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.
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just another i am rich and you are not buttheads
Dumb and Dumber!!!
can we just please get obama out of the white house
Chairman Paul Ryan is a rising star with in the GOP no doubt about that, he has the charm and passion to be an exciting candidate for President down the road, but for the past hour i have been asking myself is Why in the world would Gov. Romney pick Paul for VP. He isnt ready to tackle his red print budget purposel, this is pretty much handing democrats victory. he will unite the base and tea party but not for the romney people. he isnt ready to debate Vice President Joe Biden in the fall, he is way to inexperienced to be the next vice president nor President under Romney. Governor Romney just destroyed any chance at the Presidency and Chairman Paul should reconsider before damaging his Political future or any shot at the Oval. Obama-biden 2012 all the way.
An Ayn Rand ideologue... no thanks.
In less than 24 hours, Romney will add another nail in his coffin and many lulz will be had on this failure of a campaign. Yet still, I wish for Mitt to keep his chin up and fight for a chance at the White House, so I can savor his misery each and every day of his slow self-destruction towards the finish line that is the landslide victory against him. ][_. () ][_.
Ahhh the old we got two different plans, can you guess which one we will choose? The one that gives all the millionairs a big tax break or the one that cuts medicare and social security because the rich millionaires don't really need those programs anyway? Wait, that is in both their plans. Good choice Mitt.
:just look at this picture of them.. they are trying to talk to each other without moving their lips. "Did they tell you what to do after we get done waving?" "No. I thought they told you." "Oh.. well I guess we should just keep waving and hope they don't ask us any questions." "Good idea, I don't see any FOX reporters in this room."
Ryan, Boener's right-hand man. Ugh.
Welcome the adults soon to be in charge.
Honestly, my opinion is: Romney's lost. Ryan is yesterday's news. They're the whitest bread I could have ever seen, and if there is nothing else, there is no way anyone could see either of these two breadbaskets as a leader of anything.
Romney made the right decision! I have never registered as a Republican until now. Representative Paul Ryan is a decent, upstanding citizen and will get my vote in November.
I sure hope Paul Ryan's The Veep pick! He's smart, articulate, experienced, and he'll also be the perfect "attack dog" to counter Obama's endless stream of campaign B.S. and lies. He'll also galvanize the base. If Ryan is the pick, all I have to say is, "Good job, Mitt; and GAME ON!"
I guess that make Romley Tea party credible. I\
The most important thing is that we get that vile, vile man out of the White House. Whatever it takes, it must be done. Identifying the VP pick will help. Whoever it is.
Who cares. A loser ticket no matter what.
Romney caved in to right wing
Ticket look like father and son
I see Romney is playing it safe with this smuck Paul Ryan. Got to keep the facade up you know letting democracy shine through lol. Boy what a scam this whole deal is both left and right are funded by the same people what really will change? Empires fail because the libraries are filled but the minds of the people are empty. Please wake up America before Soviet America collapses.
Watching the Ryan vs. Biden VP debates is going to be like watching the 1992 Dream Team play a high school team.
Who? Some guy from Wisconsin that made the news for causing a recall vote and "standing up to unions, blah, blah, tea party"? As an Independent, I'll write in John King/Candi Crowley as my choice, and actually mean it. Or hold my breath and reluctantly give President Obama a second term. The Republicans lost touch with the rest of the electorate. No way I'm voting for those fools.
I kind of figured that he would grab Paul ryan it was paul ryan who last year wanted to cut 1 trillion dollars of federal spending during our last budget crisis and in the midst of it all he wanted to cut medicaid and social security he wants tax cuts for the ultra rich corpoerations would pay only 12% tax rate from the 25%-25% they pay now and guess what once again the little guy gets F'D he wants the middle class taxes to go up 10% and increase the gas tax to $1.00 he also was introducing a per mile tax on vehicles in addition to the gas tax f this guy vote RON PAUL not Romeny
Finally, a vice presidential pick that I could vote for. Good pick Romney.
i think, Ramney just handed the victory to Obama.
Romney's fancy dancing horse ate his tax returns.
who cares probably some fellow vulture capitalist he owes a favor to.