Romney to announce VP pick by smartphone app

Associated Press
FILE - In this July 18, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Bowling Green, Ohio. Want to be among the first to know who Romney picks for a running mate? There's an app for that. Romney's campaign on Tuesday announced an iPhone and Android application to alert supporters when Romney makes his vice presidential pick. The campaign promises they can find out who Romney chooses "before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)."  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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FILE - In this July 18, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Bowling Green, Ohio. Want to be among the first to know who Romney picks for a running mate? There's an app for that. Romney's campaign on Tuesday announced an iPhone and Android application to alert supporters when Romney makes his vice presidential pick. The campaign promises they can find out who Romney chooses "before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Want to be among the first to know who Mitt Romney picks for a running mate? There's an app for that.

The Republican's campaign on Tuesday announced an iPhone and Android application to alert supporters when Romney makes his vice presidential pick. The campaign promises they can find out who Romney chooses "before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)."

"It's a question everyone's asking: Who will be Mitt Romney's VP? There's no telling when that answer might come," the campaign said.

But it will come in the next few weeks, perhaps even in the next few days.

As is typical of the process, Romney's running-mate search has been a secretive affair, with only a handful of his closest advisers involved. Aides at his Boston headquarters are planning for the roll-out although they have no information about the candidates being considered or when an announcement might happen. Many aides are relying on news reports to anticipate potential candidates and making guesses about where the presumptive ticket would make its first appearance.

The Republican National Convention starts Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla., and the vice presidential nominee typically is announced before delegates arrive in the host city.

Romney was returning to the United States on Tuesday after a seven-day trip to England, Israel and Poland. He resumes his campaign at home with appearances Thursday in Colorado.

Romney's wife, Ann, is scheduled to return to London on Thursday to watch her dressage horse compete in the Olympics. It would be unusual for Romney to make such an important announcement without her at his side; she also has been very involved in the search process.

Separately, Republican officials noted an announcement could come any day.

Four years ago, candidate Barack Obama collected thousands of supporters' cellphone numbers with the promise that he would share his vice presidential pick by text message. But word that he had selected Joe Biden leaked before Obama's team sent the text. Obama later used those phone numbers to stay in contact with supporters.

Users who download Romney's free app are directed to enter their name, email, address, ZIP code and smartphone number. The app also allows Romney's team to see users' locations, which could be used to target voters in battleground states.

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Associated Press writer Steve Peoples contributed to this report.

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