WASHINGTON – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will announce his choice for his vice president at a campaign event in Norfolk, Va., today, his campaign said.
NBC News and the Associated Press each cited an unnamed campaign source as saying the choice would be Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
The announcement is expected to be made at 6 a.m. PDT aboard World War II-era battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., home to one of the country’s largest naval bases, Romney’s campaign said.
Romney is starting a four-day tour through states considered to be key in the November election.
Ryan had been rumored to be among the top finalists along with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.
Ryan has taken on a prominent role as the top Republican on the House of Representatives’ budget committee and is popular among the Republican Party’s conservative base. He has advocated for deep spending cuts and is already experienced at arguing with President Barack Obama over economic issues.
Analysts had also said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were among the possible choices. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s name has also been mentioned in the past, and he is due to appear with Romney today.
Ryan, 42, is viewed by some in the Republican Party as a bridge between the buttoned-up GOP establishment and a riled-up tea party movement that has never warmed to Romney.
As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan could help Romney make the argument that only the GOP ticket knows how to turn around a nation in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery.
As talk about Ryan swirled this week, Democrats have been castigating Romney for embracing the Ryan-sponsored budget proposal that critics say is painful to the poor and elderly. It was a sign of the line of attack to come.