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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He did not pick a Latino or coloured person for one years
13% of the GOP base are racsists and only vote Republican for ONE Reason
He was afraid that if he picked a Latino, African American or person from a non white minority that he would loose his "RACIST VOTE"
What are you or your campaign advisors thinking???
While I have respect for Ryan's intelligence, in no way is he ready to be a 'heartbeat away' from the Presidency. Too green in so many ways. And now neither candidate has any real foreign policy credibility. How is Romney going to reconcile his economic policy which has NO details with Ryans which has too many? And neither is realistic.
That's a surprise, and bad center politics. Goodbye, AARP!
Paul Ryan? A Romney clone? I'm sure he's a nice guy but..... I guess that beats the Palin selection. I imagine they're cheering big-time at the White House.
Ryan wants to privatize Medicare? Didn't president George Bush try that? I hope you did not just hand the election over to the Demacrocrats!!
American voters, obama have done nothing good for our homeland. Only lies and big mistakes against voters will. If obama is re-elected, he will destroy our country. He won the white house bacause is the only way to weaken and destroy the country from the inside, as president. As president most voters will trust his lies. God put obama in the white house because americans has given the back to him!..americans don't know the bible!. Obama is working for the evil's plan to destroy the usa, and then mankind....
LMAO!!! Thanks, Romney Hood. If there was a question about whether you supported the middle class, this pick makes it clear. Game. Set. Match for Obama/Biden!!
Let's see.... Who could be against the Romney Hood team? Women, minorities, college kids, senior citizens, gays/lesians, farmers, teachers, policemen, firefights, and anyone who has a grandma/grandpa or mon/dad receiving medicare benefits. Yep, nice pick Willard. Now let's see that budget plan of yours.
I will make this short. Why is our goverment leaders always talking about fixing just medicare and never talk about medicaid. Medicaid has a must bigger cost to the tax payers than medicare. Why take from our elders who have worked all their lives and give all to baby having , nonworking people that don't care to get a job because the goverment is going to take care of them. There is alot of those also on medicaid that work and are married that are receiving this welfare.
Excellent pick. Paul is simply brilliant and his ideas for coming out of the economic mess are refreshing. God bless you guys.
Romney's selection of Ryan as his VP pick is the greatest gift that could be handed to the Obama Campaign. Ryan is on record numerous times proposing draconian cuts to the Social Safety net necessitated by disastrous economic policies of the Bush years. His selection reinforces the successful narrative that Romney cares little about the middle class and favors the rich. This moves his ticket sharply to the right at a time he is 11% trailing Obama among Independents who are the group that decides elections.
.......I had such HIGH HOPES for Ryan. Now that he has hitched himself to the FALLING, FAILING, and soon FORGOTTEN MORMON, I doubt Christy will name him VP in 2016...............and THESE TWO WOULD WIN...............
Biden-Ryan debate! Hoorah!!!!!!!
Not only is the GOP loosing the spanish vote with Ryan as his VP, they have just lost the elderly citizen vote. People that are living off of social security have not voted for any candidate talking about reshaping social security. Nice move GOP maybe next time in Russia you might have a chance.
NOW we all know this election is going to be about the economy and jobs. Obama pack your bags!!!!
Non Starter-- wants to cut Medicare to pay for a tax cut for millionaires... good grief. Do R's have anyone that has any other idea than taking money from poor and giving the rich more cuts?
Bahaha – a robot and a dweeeb. Bring it!
Honestly, both Democrats and Republicans have to be honest in what they are planning and what they plan to do to us.
The Republicans have to make the case that you have to have the 'votes' in the Senate or else it will continue to be the 'blamefest'. Democrats need to come up with a plan and explain why their decisions have not worked. It would help if both parties tell us the truth of what they are planning to do to us.
So, are these 'attorneys/lawyers' (for the most part) representing us or themselves? We're asking....
The Outsourcer and the Heartless.
A Mormon and a Catholic. Wow, the US (and the world) is in big trouble.
Sock it to them is the call of Romney and his choice of Paul Ryan, a radical budget cutter might become the new vice president. He will sock it to those that have been bleeding the government with their aches and pains. Expect cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. But he will spend more for national security, Arabs, Russians, and Chinese will not be allowed to rob America of it`s wealth.
...Doesn't matter who Romney chooses for V.P., He's still going to lose in November..( Romney-Ryan=Victory for Obama..!!
Now let's get this country back on track, the only way out this through is to start companies, invest, create jobs, the only the the democrats will continue to do is to create big government, tax, and point fingers at those who are successful,
ryan will not lie and will tell americans the truth anout what must be done to turn around the the economy,,,,,