VP Beat: Two Contenders Boosting Foreign Policy Cred

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN TO MEET WITH ISRAELI LEADERS: Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who sits atop VP contender lists, will meet Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barack, ABC News’ Gregory Simmons and Alex Marquardt report.

RUBIO TOUCHED BY FIRST CUBA TRIP: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1956, made his first trip to the island Tuesday when he toured Guantanamo Bay.  “Certainly, it was touching to be able to fly over the island from a distance and see it and know that’s the land that saw your parents and your grandparents born,” Rubio said at a news conference in Miami after his return, the Miami Herald reported. “It’s a place I hope to visit one day soon; a free Cuba, one where the people of Cuba can chose their own leaders and chose their own future.”  Rubio dismissed suggestions that the trip was an attempt to boost his VP credentials, saying it was a routine stop as “a member of the Intelligence Committee.”

THUNE, A DARK HORSE VP? Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said last week he had not been asked to submit vetting documents, but as National Review’s Bob Costa reported, Thune might be a “dark horse” candidate for VP. “As Mitt Romney’s senior advisers consider their vice-presidential prospects, they’re keeping an eye on a dark horse: Senator John Thune, a lanky and telegenic South Dakota Republican.  ‘Even though he’s not from a battleground state, he’s seen as serious and credible,’ says John Sununu, a Romney confidant. ‘There’s no question, in my mind, that he’s on the list for consideration.’… According to sources close to the Romney campaign, the former Massachusetts governor may be inclined to tap a mild-mannered, business-friendly Midwestern senator.”

McDONNELL NOT ASKED FOR VP DOCUMENTS: Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Tuesday that he has yet to be asked to submit documents to the Romney team for vetting.  “Nope,” McDonnell said as he laughed.  “But I’m going to do everything I can to help him win Virginia.” Video here.

VEEP TWEETS

  • @robportman: Honored to lead effort to award Congressional Gold Medal to Golden Bear & OH native @jacknicklaus for his work both on & off the golf course
  • @govchristie: Making a quick stop to chat with patrons at the Irish Pub is how I ‪#DoAC‬.
  • @kellyayotte: Visiting @EASTERNMNTN Sports HQ in Peterborough
  • @GovMaryFallin: Looking forward to welcoming Charles Barkley to the great city of OKC on Thursday!

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