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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RnR are just about everything that sum up the world of greedy and one-sided economy. Trickle down.
Here is a MEGA question; Why is the GOP fond of launching " I can see Russia from my house running mates?"
This is a male version of Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy!
Great choice. I applaud Romney for not picking someone who may be considered less controversial. I feel a Romney Ryan ticket will show the country that they are not afraid of the tough issues and I feel these men are capable of actually doing something good for the country rather than squandering our children's future on stimulus and social programs. I'm sure the naysayers a getting ready now to bash Ryan and that he plans to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but of Obama gets another term and does to those programs in the same manner as Obama care it will be absolutely disastrous. Again good choice they will get my vote.
Better pick than Palin. But, senior citizens, minorities, and women just circled the Nov. date to make sure they clear their calendar to vote. Wall st. will be elated as Ryan wants to turn social security over to them; the "rich" will throw a party and make huge contributions as they will get "hundreds of thousands" in less taxes under Romney tax plan. Insurance companies are happy because of the Ryan "voucher" plan for medicare. Time for American to choose the "rich" or the middle class.
Now no matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, or independent, the choice is easy. There are now two completely different directions to choose from. There's no hiding the fact that it's a war between the have's and the have not. This should be interesting, can't wait for the debates. I'm lucky, I'm in the top 10% of wage earners in America, but you can't just forget about a third of our population. My choice is Obama/Biden
This teamate, Paul Ryan is a good ticket that will be good for America. It will be a common sense approach instead of a stimulus failing approach. Our debt will then be under control instead of a run away frieght train going down the tracks of our Europe neighbors. The liberals just can't get a grip on how bad they have run our financial business. It is time for change for sure if their is any hope in sight for America.
Two angry old white guys – Two terms for President Obama...
OMG - I'm going to join Curiosity on Mars.
He's picking the guy who wants to end medicare and social security? Well it looks like Obama wins.
Medicaid (255 billion in 2012) is significantly smaller than military/defense (869 billion in 2012), Social Security (773 billion in 2012) and Medicare (478 billion in 2012). In contrast, the gross cost of Obama's healthcare program is 1.76 trillion over 10 years, which translates to 176 billion per year (the actual number in 2012 is smaller because the program will not be fully implemented until 2014). Republicans want to increase military spending and they have no desire to commit political suicide by cutting Social Security. This is why Ryan wants to block-grant Medicare and convert it into a voucher system. It is the largest item in the budget after defense and Social Security, and using block-grant/vouchers allows Republicans to camouflage cuts in Medicare and achieve cost certainty for the government (in other words, you get a voucher for a fixed amount even if the cost of medical care continues to rise).
Great, Ryan can continue his quest to destroy unions, the elderly, and the middle class further polarizing the nation between the classes of extreme wealth and misery.
i can understand this decision but it may backfire as ryan has more fire and more conservative creds; he may overshadow romney
I know that this is a silly comment / observation, but I cannot stand that slight smile of Ryan when he talks about his austerity plan in front of the cameras. Is that smile an indication of that "we'll gonna cut, cut and cut" mentality ? Or is that slight smile is an indication that he enjoys the limelight ?
Ohh no i know a song of this type ::
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Tell me, mirror, what is wrong?
Tell me, mirror, what is wrong?
It`s just me myself and I
It`s just me myself and I
It`s just me myself and I
Romney will win the presidency, the GOP will take control of the Senate and the House. It will be a great day in November. WE, THE PEOPLE, will return America to its Christian roots and we will again be a great county.
Way to go Mitt! You might as well have picked someone like Dick Cheney as your running mate!
More of the same policies that benefited the very wealthy, stuck it to the middle class, and drove the country into the ditch. I keep hearing about the high unemployment rate from the Republicans, but I haven't heard them taking any responsibility for it. Thanks to companies like Bain who maximize profits by closing American factories sending work to cheap over seas labor pools we can just look forward to more of the same if these two are elected. And by the way, where in that crowd in Norfolk is the diversity of people that represents America.
At least Romney and Ryan might be able to fix this economy – the other choice has shown itself to be inept, and only capable of incredible deficit spending....
Mittens just doubled down on his war against the middle class. Can't wait to cast my vote for Obama in Nov!!
Coward, Romney will listen to what RNC, WSJ, RUSH and republicans want his to do.
this proves romney is a radical democrat in sheeps clothing. he is deliberately trying to destroy the republican party for generations and has exposed himself as the true closet mass. liberal. there is a reason he said he was more liberal than teddy kennedy. he knows the ryan budget will be tied around each house and senate republican now because has validated it. every repub. candidate will be asked why they are throwing grandma under the bus in every debate. luckily, the news media is still by and large bought and paid for by conservative corporations but I'm not sure that is enough. No more social security, medicare or medicaid? romney wants to eliminate mortgage interest deductions and charitable deductions? good luck winning florida with that strategy.
the true solution would be to end medicaid(too much dr. and hospital corruption in the program causing huge cost over runs) and go to a medicare for all(even elected officials)
still a ron paul man
what am I missing? Now there are two GOP candidates with no foreign policy experience that both want to cut taxes on the rich – Ryan down to 25 percent as highest rate. Yet both claim to be fiscal conservatives. Where will the money come from? don't tell me Mitt is going to cash out his oversea accounts to fund government. Doubt that. the man has spent his life using every means possible to avoid paying taxes so don't see him being generous there.
I'm still in shock. Scott Walker obviously turned Romney down. Pass it along to Biden......... during your debates, with Ryan, on each question, donate all except 30 seconds of your time to Ryan. Then for your 30 second responses, just stand there and smile and smile!!!
Great Team of GOP idiots. Let me see..outsourcing, move $ offshore, Corp. raiding, pay less or no taxes that the middle class, take US $ offshore, eliminate or reduce medicare and SS, more taxes to the middle class and more to the 1%, etc. Wow what a team. Only an idiot would vote for these two idiots..
Suppose this means Twitt Romney will let Paul Ryan (the next President) play with Twitt's car elevator in Twitt's new garage?