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Gov. Scott Walker continues his busy political travel schedule this week with stops in Michigan, South Carolina, and on Sunday he'll leave for a five-day trip to Israel.

Walker plans to visit Israel from May 10 through May 14, according to AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Our American Revival, Walker's political nonprofit organization. She said details of the visit are still being worked out. The group has not invited media to accompany him on the trip.

Israel, a key ally of the United States in the geopolitical crucible of the Middle East, is a destination for presidential aspirants. Walker's visit will be his first and comes as he continues to shore up his foreign policy credentials, a perceived weakness of his potential candidacy.

In his many talks around the country, Walker has emphasized that the country needs a president "who will stand with Israel."

Walker has not declared his candidacy, but is expected to announce his decision after the state budget wraps up in June.

The Israel trip will be Walker's third visit overseas this year, surpassing the number of trips he made in his entire first term as governor.

Unlike recent visits to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, which were taxpayer-funded trade missions, the Israel trip will be paid for by OAR.

On Saturday Walker joins a growing pack of presidential candidates at the South Carolina Freedom Summit.

Declared candidates set to appear include U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Hewlitt-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Others include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and real estate mogul Donald Trump.

The event is being sponsored by Citizens United, which sponsored the Iowa Freedom Summit in late January where Walker had a breakout performance that thrust him into the top-tier of presidential contenders.

Walker starts off the week in Michigan, where he plans to meet with state legislators and activists, hold political meetings and deliver remarks at two local Republican Party gatherings, Strong said. The events include an Ingham County GOP luncheon at the R.E. Olds Museum in Lansing and an Oakland County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.


Matthew DeFour covers state government and politics for the Wisconsin State Journal.