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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Romney, the gift that keeps on giving. He cannot explain his own positions and now he has to explain Ryan's extremist positions and hir 14 yr voting record. The smell of desparation is an unbecoming fragrance. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012.
Preidential candidate is introducing his VP pick from the deck of the U.S.S.Wisconsin today. MY question, Is the Wisconsin a commissioned warship, or a decommissioned warship? If commissioned, then she is U.S. Government property and as such it is not legal to campaign for federal office while on U.S.government property.
I am glad the cat is out of the bag. Now CNN can start, who is he, what is he, The list goes on. November can't get here fast enough. This has been a very long haul and is just going to get longer. We have herd the same thing over and over again. I am ready to vote.
Its just ashame while running down someones plan, they cannot put forth any plan of thier own. The few things OBama and the Democrats have mentioned will hurt the middle class far more then Romney or Ryan have. They say rais the tax on the rich, excpet they have allready raised the tax on middle class and poor with ObamaCare. THe plan also limits 4 prescriptions a month unless you can get prior approval from some Goverment employee in Washington who has no medical exp. Eightenn states have allready put restrictions on prescriptions, so that tells you how OPbama will hurt the seniors, Obama and his death squads.
So adult kids of senior parents will now be funding all of their care after the Romney/Ryan rations/vouchers run out in a few weeks. This IS Armageddon waiting to happen. Prepare for all the seniors and their adult kids to go broke instantly...and pre-existing conditions slapped on all of us.
The silly thing about this choice is he is playing to the right wing, that will vote for him anyway. Once the Ryan budget becomes front and center again the death spiral for the campaign will begin.
Wake me up in 2016 when there's a real election. This one is over.
Well it appears to be all over, bar the shouting...Mitt Romney is set to name Paul Ryan as his running mate later this morning! So now are we to take it that Romney is now 'married' to the Ryan budget plan?! ...or is this just a way to appease the GOP far right who up to now have not exactly embraced Romney...? Either way, 'Tea-partyers' everywhere are ecstatic and it shows once again that the Tea Party is the tail wagging the dog. (Lessons learned from the 2008 VP pick seem to be all but forgotten!)
As far as we liberals are concerned, this is a dream come true!
WAY TO GO GOVERNOR ROMNEY!!! :)
Romney needs Ryan so the GOP conservative base does not stay home on November 6th. The choice of Ryan allows Romney to re-set to a more centrist position in an attempt to lure the swing votes needed for the GOP ticket to win. Now the GOP base "may" stay home instead of "will stay home. However, the swing voters will not swing to the GOP. I see for more years of Obama/Biden. The swing voters will vote to move forward by staying the course (yes, I was one of those Ronald Reagan swing voters) because the course that was set by the GOP since the days of Ronald Reagan is what has set the table for the financial meltdown of 2007.
Here we got In Real life has Dumb and Dumber. There Is NO Question that they don't care about the Middle Class,the poor and the OLD. Plus with these two we will be at war with In three months If they get elected ,and than you can say good by to your KIDS.
So Mittens has chosen the sixth son,guess his rich overlords have spoken, and look he comes complete with a budget plan so Mittens doesn't have to come up with one of his own. Wonder if the T-Party will dust off the keep your hands off my medicare signs they used during the healthcare debate. They will sure come in handy now.
If we are looking for leaders based on younger and better looking, lets have Justin Bieber for VP. Oh sorry, he is TOO young, OH well.
I'm glad that Mitt picked Paul Ryan.
It will magnify more how out of touch he is with the common man......and Senior Citizens.
Now we know - this is WAR. War between the 1% and the rest of us. If voters use their heads and pay attention to the economic issues, the Rs will lose every state.
All the republicans want is white voters.That's an easy way to lose the election.
Romney is done.
So he chose the bean counter? Good grief can they become more dislikable?!?! One looks and acts like a bully and the other is just... Well, bland and heartless!
Goodbye middle class jobs and presperity your money will now be sent to millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street another Bush/Chaney pair a very scary thought.
You know your campaign is in trouble when a new movie thriller competes with your VP selection.
If you think the Democrats have spent too much tryimg to dig out from 8 years of Bush, wait until we have to dig out from 4 years of Romney/Ryan at a time when the economy is still so fragile!
Kiss your Medicare goodbye!
Ryan is the PERFECT choice. Supremely qualified, competent, knows his stuff. An economics major that knows the federal budget inside and out. He will crush Biden in a debate. I feel bad for Crazy Joe.
Not enough Grecian around for these two. Romney is trying the same thing that McCain did, pick somebody young and radical to combat his declining numbers in the polls. This Ryan would see America pushed back to the stone ages.
Do Romney and Ryan not realize that this is 2012 A.D., not 2012 B.C.E.? Romney and Ryan - two more reasons to vote for Obama/Biden!