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“Governor McDonnell strongly supports broad reforms to the system, including raising the eligibility age for future recipients, in order to make certain that future recipients can continue to count on this important federal retirement program,” Mr. Martin said.

The Tuesday back-and-forth over entitlements aside, the event will nonetheless bring together Mr. Perry and Mr. McDonnell, friends by means of theRepublican Governors Association, and could fuel speculation about a potential 2012 GOP presidential ticket.

Political observers say that while Mr. McDonnell would be on anyone’s short list for vice president — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney himself has already said as much — he could end up being edged out by Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, a tea party hero elected in the Republican wave in 2010.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said that Mr. Rubio was “in first place by a mile,” but that Mr. McDonnell is certainly in the discussion.

“You can’t run for it, but he’s done a good job of hinting that it would take him about three microseconds to say yes,” Mr. Sabato said.