Calling himself a new fresh face who is someone from outside Washington, Wisconsin Governor and likely presidential candidate Scott Walker visited Atlanta on Monday and addressed about 150 people ranging from elected officials to Republican party regulars who were interested in hearing his ideas for running the country.
Governor Walker began his speech by recalling his history in politics from the time he was elected Chief Executive in Milwaukee County, to facing three elections over the period of four years for Governor of Wisconsin. After his election in 2010, he faced protests at the statehouse and a recall election following his decision to make Wisconsin the 25th right to work state. He won the recall, and was re-elected as governor, he claimed, because he took power out of the hands of big government and special interests, and put it in the hands of hardworking taxpayers and job creators.
Before moving on to talk about what he sees as the challenges for the next president, Walker bragged on his accomplishments in the Badger State, including creating a budget surplus, expanding educational opportunities with charter and home schooling, expanding concealed carry laws, and defunding Planned Parenthood. He pointed out that he was able to earn the votes of differing types of Republicans, from the establishment to the Tea Party, and said,
If we can do common sense reforms in a place like Wisconsin, where there are more Democrats than Republicans and where a Republican hasn’t carried the state for President since 1984, there’s no doubt we can do it anywhere in the country if we have the right focus, the right attention, and the right leadership. … I see, not just in my state, but in state after state around this country that when you put conservative Republican reformite leaders in charge in the legislative and executive branches of our government, certainly at the state level, we’ve shown what a difference that can make.
Walker then proceeded to talk about three reasons why conservative leadership can make a difference in Washington.
He cited the need for growth, and how real growth isn’t what happens in Washington, but instead is what happens in cities and counties when government gets out of the way. In addition to citing longtime GOP goals such as lower taxes, reduced regulations, repealing Obamacare, and creating an “all of the above” energy policy, he stressed the importance of doing things to strengthen two parent American families, including eliminating the marriage penalty and getting rid of the disincentives to be married created by public assistance programs.
Walker called for government reform, saying that Democrats see success based on how many are dependent on government, while the rest of America takes the opposite viewpoint. He spoke of the dignity born of work, recalling his experience working at local restaurants. Saying that prosperity and freedom come from giving people the opportunity to control their own lives and destinies, Walker said, “If you work hard and play by the rules, you can do and be anything you want in America.”
The third reason for advancing conservative leadership for America is crouched in the concept of safety, his term for national security. Claiming that the Obama-Clinton foreign policy doctrine consists of drawing a line in the sand and letting people cross it, he stated that the United States need a Commander in Chief who will declare radical Islam is a threat to all. And in a statement that drew a standing ovation from the crowd, he declared that the U.S. needs to acknowledge that Israel is an ally, and that we need to start treating it as such.
While Governor Walker is not yet an official candidate for President, he expects to make a decision and announcement later this month, after completing work on Wisconsin’s biennial budget. And, if he decides to run, it won’t be for a book deal or to gain recognition. Instead, he said, his decision will be for the next generation, including his sons Matt and Alex.
Twice in his address, he pointed out that in addition to wanting a good career or to start a business, Americans want their children to have a better life than they have, and to have their kids inherit a better America than what was given to them. It appears that that consideration, which kept him going when 100.000 people were protesting outside the Wisconsin state house, will be the prime factor in his possible presidential run.