Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, considered a top candidate to be the running mate for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, will travel this week to Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The news, first reported by ABC, was confirmed to CBS News/National Journal by a source familiar with the meeting.
Portman will be traveling with a bipartisan delegation of legislators in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. However, the meeting with Netanyahu, who has close ties to many Republican lawmakers, is a solo affair for Portman.
Previous international travel as a member of the Senate has taken Portman to Afghanistan, South Korea, and India as part of a delegation that included Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He last traveled to Israel in January 2010 as a private citizen.
Portman also had experience dealing with international leaders from his time as the U.S. trade representative during George W. Bush’s presidency.
The Ohio senator is not the only possible vice presidential candidate to be traveling abroad this week. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made a trip to the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in his capacity as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee to conduct oversight of the facility, tour the base, and meet with the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.
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