Gov. Scott Walker, Republican presidential hopeful, to arrive in Israel

Governor Walker will visit Israel to get a closer look at the regional challenges and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker is on his way to Israel, as part of an international trip to launch his nomination.

The Wisconsin Governor took off Friday on a week-long visit to Germany, France and Spain, and in May plans to go to Israel, a touchstone for many US politicians with presidential aspirations.

Meantime his political group, Our American Revival, has bulked up on staffers to coach Walker on foreign policy, reportedly a gap in his resume.

The governor, a favorite among more conservative Republicans because of his willingness to take on labor unions in his state, has had less experience abroad than many of his potential 2016 rivals. He didn’t travel overseas at all the first two years he was governor, or in 2014 when running for re-election. In 2013, he went to China and Japan.

If he enters the race, Walker would be considered a serious contender for the Republican nomination, but the field of potential candidates is crowded. Among his potential rivals are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is expected to launch his candidacy Monday and make foreign policy a central theme of his campaign.

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On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination, is expected to launch her campaign Sunday.

When Walker said this week he would revoke a nuclear deal with Iran on his first day in the White House, President Barack Obama said the governor should “bone up on foreign policy.” Walker called that remark “unbelievable.”

Walker’s trip to Europe is a trade mission, with two public events planned in Germany and the rest of his meetings behind closed doors.

Walker said the focus of his first visit to Israel will be to get a better understanding of the issues facing the Middle East by meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials.

and AP