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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I believe its is "whom he has selected," no?
It would be wise for him to pick somebody like Jon Huntsman. I have a feeling he is going to pick a neocon candidate with the motto, "Shoot now, ask questions later." I'm really sick of the talking about blowing up or Iran or getting involved in Syria.
Paul Ryan ? Mitt must be insane ! Congrats President Obama on another 4 years !
Channel 4 in La Announced rep Paul Ryan wake up cnn
Its obviously going to be one of the guys from Virginia. If Obama wins Virginia and Colorado or Viriginia and Nevada he wins period... Simply strategy, this should not surprise anyone that isn't force fed their news.
The VP choice will only hurt Romney, not help him.
He can't choose anyone who would upstage him so that leaves Portman or Pawlenty.
Ryan will remind everyone of killing Medicare
Rubio will not bring Hispanic votes since he is Cuban. Mexicans and Central Americans will not vote for Rubio because of immigration laws that favor Cubans.
Christie needs the limlight and would shove Mitt to the side.
...& WHAT about the tax record he is hiding?!!
Good job, well everyone now will have a short time to know & dig up on his VP pick....keep the scammmm going Romney
Please let it be Palin.
We need to get a human being back into the White House!
Don't ren!g Romney 2012!
If the VP pick is Ryan, Seniors wont vote for someone that wants to cut medicare
It's 12:50AM at this time and CNN already announced that it will be Paul Ryan – Let the fun begin!!!
Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!
on the deck of war ships? no thanks. everything about this is gross. i'm getting tired of such male dominated leadership. men are so messed up with regard to kids, health care, women, older people, about anything really...how can anyone follow that? we can't. totally grossed out.
The 2012 Ryan budget also received criticism from elements of the Catholic Church, specifically from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and from faculty and administrators of Georgetown University. In its letter to Rep. Ryan, the group of Georgetown faculty and administrators criticized the Ryan budget as trying to "to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices," going on to say that Catholic teaching "demands that higher levels of government provide help—"subsidium"—when communities and local governments face problems beyond their means to address such as economic crises, high unemployment, endemic poverty and hunger." The letter also criticizes Ryan for his attempts at "gutting government programs" and states that Ryan is "profoundly misreading Church teaching." A statement issued by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized the Ryan budget in similar terms. Ryan rejects the bishops' criticism that his budget plans would disproportionately cut programs that "serve poor and vulnerable people."
Paul Ryan has never worked a real job in his life. Ryan's only budget idea has been to take away healthcare and social security from senior citizens. Ryan has worked his entire career as a Washington insider. Romney, the consummate flip flopper, used to be against the Ryan budget but I guess Romney, too, thinks seniors don't need all that health care stuff or social security.
Nice move, I hope Romney at least send a card to Obama to go with this gift. Oh, and where are those taxes?
Hearing reports that Paul Ryan is the choice. I'm just waiting for confirmation of this so I can write this new check to team Obama! (It was going to be written anyway–it's just a little larger now) Yes, I will be at the voting booth too Mitt and I will vote against you and your disgusting running mate! Proud supporter of President Barack Obama!!!
Who cares? What difference does it make which designated loser joins this losing team?
Good grief any thing for attention has any one notice the small crowds that attend romney functions .just sayin
Paul Ryan......the guy who wants to kill Social Security and Medicare.
Romney just lost Florida!
PLEASE let it be Paul Ryan!!! That way, we can be SURE of his LOSING the election!!! LOL!!
He know no body cares, that why he decided to do it during the weekend!
Paul Ryan is the vp! Romney Ryan 2012! A great pick from Governor Romney exemplifying the seriousness of our situation and finally elevating the discussion away from the "war on women," sudden change of heart on gay marriage, releasing taxes all personal taxes, killing a man's wife because he was let go from his job 6 years after Romney left Bain Capital... anything to aviod the terrible record President Obama has of increasing the debt by 6,000,000,000,000 dollars in 4 years increasing it by over 60%! It is time to put up or shut up Obama you have lambasted the republicans for their budget which tries to deal with the issues instead of kicking them down the road and where is your budget? There hasn't been one for the whole time this administration has been in office. No leadership, no jobs, no hope and change from President Obama. Step aside because it is Romney Ryan 2012!
wow i was watching my local news and they already reported it was paul ryan either theyre guessing or cnn is really slow
It's Paul Ryan...