[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/19/art.splitbiden.gi.jpg caption="Obama praised Biden Tuesday."](CNN) - In a week where vice-presidential speculation has reached a feverish pitch, Barack Obama gave tea-leaf readers another reason to suspect he will name fellow Sen. Joe Biden his running mate later this week.
Speaking to veterans in Orlando, Florida, Obama specifically called out the Delaware senator and former presidential candidate, calling him a 'friend' and saying he agreed with Biden's call for U.S. assistance to Georgia.
Watch: VP speculation in overdrive
"We must help Georgia rebuild what has been destroyed," Obama said during a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention. "That is why I’m proud to join my friend, Senator Joe Biden, in calling for an additional $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for the people of Georgia."
It was only a passing reference to the longtime senator, but it comes one day after Biden returned from a trip to Georgia at the behest of that country's president - a stark reminder of his national security gravitas and deep-rooted relationships with leaders around the world. As the Georgia crisis once again puts national security issues front-and-center in voters' minds, so the Beltway chatter goes, Obama needs a running-mate with foreign policy experience now more than ever.
But Biden wasn't the only senator Obama praised in his speech Tuesday - the Illinois senator also mentioned Jim Webb, the Virginia Democrat and Vietnam veteran who took himself out of the VP running last month.
Obama also took the opportunity to aggressively respond to rival John McCain's charge in a speech to the group yesterday that Obama is putting his political ambitions ahead of the country's interests.
“Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country," he said. "I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain.”