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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Not the worst choice.. Medicare does need to be overhauled..
When the debates start, I think Biden should just "phone in". If you think he looks like a fool now, can you imagine him trying to explain to the American people why he has not passed a budget, ever, while the individual who knows more about the budget than any other person on the planet is standing right next to him? Can you imagine him trying to explain the costs of Obamacare, cuts to Medicare, and increases in Medicaid, all while trying to triangulate reducing the deficit?
He should pick Barney the Dinosaur. Either way he isn't winning this election.
Its time to end socialism in America. If Romney didnt pay taxes and broke the law for ten years how come we are not hearing from the IRS?, Obamas 6 trillion has us on the brink, How much honor can a man have who makes a ad acusing his opponet of murder? 8.3% unemployment,36% poverty, 7 trillion in home sale losses. No budget in 3 years.We are no better off than with Bush.
What a relief. Watch his numbers go down even more. Picking a right wing radical tea partier is death for his campaign.
Anyone's better than o'bama
Oh no. Two white guys. Obama wins.
Romney: Thank you for sealing your own doom.
is these idiot's get elected america is doomed
A flip flopped picks another, good choice:) But seriously, this further proves that MR is a bad decision maker. Ron Paul is as extreme as they come on policy. The Demiclrats are going to love this, and link Romney to the RP budgets which takes aim at a lot of the popular social programs. GOP. reds to ask their rich buddies a couple of questions : where are the jobs? and why are they paying less for the jobs they have. Why should people dealing in stocks and risky investments get freaking tax cuts, how many Americans are they employing ?
While this pick is safe and will not lose any current supporters, it certainly will not be a pick that gets him more supporters. Frankly it's rather boring and most Americans will be unimpressed and not know or care who Ryan is. I think this will be the moment that loses him the race, and this is coming from a Romney supporter. The only pro, he did not pick Sarah Palin.
Vanilla Bean and Homemade Vanilla. Jeez, what a snoozer of a ticket. Where is Sarah Palin when you need her?
Mutt Robme & The Cutter 2012....LOL
Thanks for selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt!!!! It's been nice knowing ya!!!! By selecting that ultra-right buffoon, you have just doomed your candidacy. There is no way you will get the swing states, minority votes, female votes or independent votes. Way to go, Mittens!!!!
How much money has Ryan taken from the Koch brothers?
Boring.....very white, not a diverse bone in those men's bodies. I cannot see them as the leader of the free world and the #2.
So, Mitty will be "also ran" in November along with Paul "also Ryan"?
That's great. It puts Ryan's budget front and center. Combined with Mitt's we-can't-tax-the-rich philosophy it plays straight into Obama's narrative of Romneyhood - which has the added advantage of being true.
I can't wait to hear how seniors are going to pay for their medicare once the insurance premiums start increasing faster than their government vouchers. Ryan's budget is all part of the GOP's economic Darwinism - but at least there are no death panels. But there will be seniors who will be priced out of the medical care market.
Why is he even bothering? Obama has this election in the bag.
Is it possible for the Republicans to once again choose another poor choice for VP in Paul Ryan? Another tea party pick as in “Sara Palin?” I guess this should not be a real surprise he’s a real fighter this Paul Ryan is ... he’s ready to fight hard for the rich and the greedy and the heck with folk less fortunate. Paul Ryan is the man who would be happy to throw Medicare/Medicaid out with the bathwater. He’s on the same page as Romney ready to free up more tax cuts for the rich. The Dems will have a field day with this VP choice. Obama 2012!!!
Now it is time for Romney to start going down. He has lost the Latinos, the Blacks, the Conservatives. Why did he parade the Rubio. Just like John McCain this mistake will earn him solid loss from every demographic. The GOP has become a party of the past. After eight years, Hillary Clinton will take over for another 8 years. That will damage the party more.
Why parade with Rubio so long and then dump him, politics without conscience. The polls will show this soon.
Well I guess we finally know what the Romney Tax Plan will look like. Obama should be an easy sell to the seniors in Florida.
The Ryan choice demonstrates two things:
1) As recent polls have suggested, President Obama has widened his lead while the republican base has become increasingly apathetic to Romney. Romney's VP choice shows that he feels that this race was/is getting away from him. He wanted a "game-changer"... and he has one of sorts. The issue at hand will be if will he hopes to energize the conservative base does he simultaneously awaken the presumed lethargic liberal base.
2) The policy changes that Republicans want to implement for the future. Meaning this: Changing Medicare, Medicaid/SSI and continuing the Bush-era tax cuts demonstrate that Republicans feel that the private sector is the future of America ( ironic coming from Romney who implemented statewide governmental healthcare). The very real potential problem with that mindset is that the goal of the private sector is to the most with the least. Now imagine that concept applied to social programs as education, law enforcement, healthcare, etc...?
The history of our country has dictated over time that regardless of what is said: we are fiscally right of center and socially left of center. We became strong as a nation over time as we invested in public education and strengthened the middle-class. And ultimately
romney never make it to the white house he thing everything is about money he wants to get the latinos vote i dont think so buddy we are not that stuped
Very good pick but not exciting.