Since the spring when Romney cinched the Republican nomination, he kept the VP selection process a tightly guarded secret between himself and Beth Myers, one of his most trusted aides, who served as his campaign manager in 2008 and his chief of staff during the four years he was governor of Massachusetts.

The two spoke every other day by phone about the potential VP candidates, and Romney spent time with many of them on his bus tours, at fundraisers and on telephone calls. Journalists wrote about the budding chemistry between Ryan and Romney when they campaigned together in Wisconsin, but Romney had developed close friendships with other contenders, most notably former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty…

There were few leaks within the tightly controlled Romney apparatus during the selection process. One exception was when Romney personally denied an ABC report that Rubio was not being vetted as a presidential candidate. In a nod to Rubio’s enormous popularity within the base, Romney said the report was wrong and that Rubio was being “thoroughly vetted.”

But many within Romney’s orbit feared the limited stints of Ayotte and Rubio in Washington would raise experience questions that could drive the campaign off-track.