Romney could announce VP this week: Pawlenty, Portman, Rice, Jindal, Ryan in the running

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Mitt Romney has made his choice for a running mate and could announce the decision as early as this week, The New York Times reported Monday.

In a fundraising email sent to supporters last week, the campaign indicated that a decision had been reached. The email offered a randomly selected donor “the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP.” One donor a week will be selected until the Republican National Convention in August.

Several names for the postion have been floated as front-runners in the past week.

Last week, The Drudge Report, citing anonymous sources, posted an item saying that former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had emerged near the top of Romney’s VP shortlist. The report was lent credence by previous comments from Ann Romney that a woman was a frontrunner for the position.

The Times reported that Romney had made a decision and would announce it soon in a longer piece about former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is also considered by many observers to be a front-runner for the position.

Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential primary and endorsed Rmney after a poor showing at the Ames Straw Poll last August. Since then he has frequently been used by the Romney campaign as a surrogate, and The Times reports that the two governors have grown closer on the campaign trail.

Also on the list, according to a source familiar with the proceedings, are conservative favorittes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Paul Ryan. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is another person whose name is frequently floated as a front-runner for the position, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune recently told The Hill that he is also being vetted by the Romney campaign.

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Alexis Levinson