Portman to Meet Netanyahu

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 10:16 PM

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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, rumored to be high on Mitt Romney's vice presidential shortlist, is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Thursday.

Portman, R-Ohio, will meet with Netanyahu Thursday in Israel. An Israeli official confirmed the meeting to ABC News Tuesday.

International travel is not new for the Ohio Senator, who served as US Trade Representative under George H W Bush. But he also served seven terms as a congressman and also as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under George W Bush. He currently sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a seat he has held since 2011.

The Israeli official was unaware of speculation about Portman’s reported place on Romney’s shortlist and highlighted that Netanyahu makes every effort to meet visiting American politicians, according to ABC.

Some polls show that increasingly a significant portion of the Jewish vote is moving toward Republicans, who have been steadfast in their support of the Jewish state. Obama won election in 2008 with 78 percent support from Jewish voters, according to national exit polls.

The Republican goal is to win increased support from Jewish Democrats and independents to help the party carry swing states, including Florida.

According to the National Jewish Democratic Council, a 10 percent decline in Jewish support for the party could shift the vote by 98,000 in Florida, 35,000 in Pennsylvania, 18,000 in Ohio and 8,500 in Nevada, states targeted as battlegrounds in the 2012 presidential election.

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