Mitt Romney's vice president search has already started

ByHolly Bailey
April 16, 2012, 11:19 AM

— -- Mitt Romney isn't wasting any time looking for a GOP running mate.

The presumptive Republican nominee tells ABC News's Diane Sawyer that he's appointed Beth Myers, one of his closest advisers, to oversee the vetting process for his vice presidential running mate.

"I have selected someone who has been a counselor of mine for a number of years, Beth Myers," Romney told Sawyer in an interview set to air on ABC's "World News" and on "Nightline." "She was my chief of staff when I was governor. I've asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and vetting an analysis, and so she's begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates."

Myers, who previously managed Romney's 2008 Republican presidential bid, is one of the former governor's longest serving advisers and is personally close to the candidate and his wife, Ann, who is also expected to play a pivotal role in helping her husband choose a number two to join the GOP ticket.

Ann Romney tells ABC News that last weekend was the first time the family had "seriously really talked about" a vice presidential running mate.

"This is a time when we realize it's very important, and it's time to think about it," she said, adding, "there are some wonderful people out there."

Mitt Romney praised at least one of the rumored VP contenders--Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—but insisted it is "way to early" to say if he or anyone else is on his shortlist.

But it is apparently not too early for Romney's campaign to offer top donors access to his potential inauguration.

As Buzzfeed's Ben Smith first reported, a fundraising email sent to top Romney supporters is giving donors of $50,000 or more the opportunity to attend a private retreat with Romney in California, special access to the candidate at the Republican National Convention in August and "preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat."

A Romney spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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