Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has agreed to play the role of President Obama in debate prep sessions with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, two GOP sources tell CNN.
Portman, one of the Romney campaign's leading surrogates on the campaign trail and fundraising circuit, was approached by the campaign about the role earlier this summer and is being provided with briefing materials by top aides in Boston, one of the Republican sources told CNN.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
Their first debate prep session is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
Portman was considered a leading contender to be Romney's running mate before Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped for the role.
He is the chairman of Romney's campaign in Ohio, a crucial battleground state, and has raised more than $1 million for the campaign in the state.
In past election cycles, Portman has specialized in playing the Democratic foils to GOP candidates in debate study sessions. He assumed the role of President Obama during John McCain's 2008 debate prep.
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is playing the role of Romney in Obama's debate sessions.