Romney campaign hires staff for VP pick

Mitt Romney's campaign announced Tuesday that it has hired staff for the presumptive Republican nominee's future running mate, further fueling speculation that the GOP hopeful will announce his pick soon.

Randy Bumps, the former political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will serve as the director of operations for the eventual vice presidential pick. And Kevin Sheridan, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, will serve as the running mate's communications director.

“I’m proud to add Randy and Kevin to our growing team,” said campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a statement. “They both have enjoyed long and distinguished careers in our party. Their work will be vital as we move forward in the campaign to defeat President Obama and elect Mitt Romney.”

The announcement comes as speculation mounts that Romney will announce his pick soon. Doing so could help the Republican challenger put to bed the Obama campaign's tough attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital, and provide an important surrogate to remain in the United States during Romney's international trip later this month.

The Romney campaign has been tight-lipped about the timing and candidates under consideration, saying only that a decision would be made and announced before the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla.

But The New York Times reported earlier this week that Romney might have already decided on a choice, and a story by Reuters on Monday said Romney had narrowed his list to Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanClean energy group backs two GOP incumbents Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions MORE (Ohio), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The Romney campaign flatly denied any decision had been made on Monday.

"No decision's been made on VP," Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters in Louisiana.

Romney did meet with Jindal during the fundraising stop, but Fehrnstom said the two men did not discuss the possibility of joining the ticket.

"Education was one of the topics they covered, but they did not discuss VP," Fehrnstrom said.

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