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Romney will announce VP Saturday; speculation abounds



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UPDATE: WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney's campaign says the presumed Republican presidential nominee will announce his running mate Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va.

The short list - if there is one - is believed to include Ohio Rep. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

In a statement issued Friday night, the Romney campaign said the running mate would be revealed at 9 a.m. EDT at the Nauticus Museum. Romney is kicking off a four-day bus tour through swing states.

Romney's choice comes as he tries to repair an image damaged by negative Democratic advertising and shift the trajectory of a campaign that's seen him lose ground to President Barack Obama.

The vice presidential selection will dominate headlines, and Romney's team has been relentlessly teasing the announcement for weeks.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The political world is buzzing with speculation about Mitt Romney's pick for vice president. There's no word on when the decision will be announced, but it could be any day.

Everywhere Mitt Romney goes these days, there's one question that keeps nagging him--and that he avoids. Who's his running mate going to be? And as usual, the answer will come only when he's ready.

"I don't think I have anything for you on the VP running mate," Romney said. "Other than I — I certainly expect to have a person that has a strength of character, a vision for the country that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country."

#poll

It could be one of the best kept secrets in a while: Not even close confidants like the Hinckley Institute's Kirk Jowers has a clue.

But among the educated guesses about the top candidates are people like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Flor. Sen. Marco Rubio, former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and La. Gov. Bobby Jindal — who last March told KSL he was more interested in being governor than anything else. Conservative Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconson is also a named favorite.

Either way, Jowers predicts the impact will be limited, whomever Romney picks.

"Regardless of who he chooses, there isn't going to be much of an upside or much of a downside; it will come down to Romney versus Obama," Jowers said.

There's so much interest that millions of people have downloaded a phone app that promises to send an alert so the subscriber will be among the first to know.

Utah Republican party chair Thomas Wright has heard all the rumors about the top favorites. But he's not discounting a possible dark horse pick, either.

"I don't think he should make any pick, unless it's the one he wants, and the candidate that's ready to be president on day one.

With the GOP convention coming up in just over 2 weeks, the time is running out; the suspense is building.

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Richard Piatt
    The Associated Press

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