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Romney bus tour fuels VP speculation


WASHINGTON and WOLFEBORO, N.H. -- The veepstakes speculation just got more fuel.

The Romney campaign today officially announced its swing-state bus tour beginning Saturday. It will start in Virginia; then head to North Carolina Sunday, the day the Olympics conclude; Florida Monday, Aug. 13; and end in Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Potential vice-presidential picks will be making appearances.

NBC's Alex Moe reports that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) will join Romney on the first leg of the tour in Virginia. 

NBC's Andrew Rafferty reports that Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a veep front runner, will join Romney in Ohio.

*** UPDATE *** Marco Rubio will join Romney on part of the Florida leg of the bus tour.

Today, Romney huddled with top aides, including chief strategist Stu Stevens, and Beth Myers, head of the VP search process, for more than two hours at his lakeside home on Monday. Also present -- senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and Policy Director Lanhee Chen.

One aide described the meeting as a strategy session, and denied that the vice-presidential selection was discussed.

It's possible a Romney vice-presidential pick is made on the bus tour, but it's also possible that it is designed to create buzz and excitement around the campaign and a VP selection is announced after it.