Back to previous page


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker taking a victory lap through Washington

By ,

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose victory in a June 5 recall election has made him the Republicans’ latest hero, is taking a victory lap through Washington and offering some advice to the party’s presidential standardbearer: Sharpen up your message.

John Klein

AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to employees at Steelwind Industries in Oak Creek, Wis. on June 6, 2012. Walker won a contentious recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

At a breakfast with reporters Thursday, Walker said that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has “a shot” at becoming the first Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan to win Wisconsin.

While the state has gone Democratic since then, the margin in Wisconsin has generally been close, except in 2008, Walker noted.

Though his own victory might suggest that the state has since taken a conservative turn, Walker said that voters there will not be persuaded simply by Romney’s party affilation. Wisconsin voters, he said, are looking for candidates who are “willing to stick their neck out a little bit.”

Though Romney has put forward a long economic plan, Walker said, ”it’s got to be narrowed down to a very simple set of messages. ... He’s got a have a simple message of, not only why we need to replace the current occupant of the White House, but why he would do better.”

Walker also urged Romney to be clearer on the question of how he would get his proposals accomplished.

“It’s not just that he’s running on them, but he’s going to deliver,” the governor said at the breakfast, which was sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “Yes, I have a plan, and yes, I’m committed to acting on it.”

As for the lessons he himself had learned from the trauma of the recall effort, Walker said he wished that he had spent more time explaining his

Steven Senne

AP

In this March 30, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, accompanied by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan( R-Wis.), speaks in Milwaukee.

rationale for curbing the collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions--for instance, by describing a situation in which most school districts were buying their employees’ health insurance from a single company, and providing examples of lavish pensions for some government workers.

“My problem was that I was so eager to fix it that I fixed it and then talked about it,” he said.

Asked whom he would like to see Romney choose as a running mate, Walker cited a fellow Wisconsinite, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. But he added that Romney might also do well to pick someone with executive experience, and ticked off a list of governors: Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindall of Lousiana, Robert McDonnell of Virginia, and Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

© The Washington Post Company