Per a campaign statement released late Friday, the presumptive Republican nominee will announce his running mate at an 8:45am rally here on the USS Wisconsin–the first stop of his four-day bus tour of key battleground states. The campaign offered no further details, and aides traveling with the presumptive Republican nominee declined to comment.
But Republican sources told NBC News, the Huffington Post, the Associated Press and CNN that Romney is expected to name Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin–reports the campaign refused to confirm. In addition, ABC News’s Jon Karl reported that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio–all of whom were said to be on Romney’s short list–have all been told they are not the pick.
Almost immediately, speculation began about Romney’s choice of venue for the announcement. The USS Wisconsin is the ship named after the home state of Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee who has been the subject of growing buzz among conservatives in recent days. But the announcement also takes place in Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell has also been rumored as a possible vice presidential pick.
CNN reported late Friday that Romney phoned several Republicans believed to be on his short list to tell them he had made a pick–though he didn’t identify who that person was, nor did the network identify who he phoned. A Romney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.