LAS VEGAS -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, standing in a Harley-Davidson dealership wearing motorcycle boots and a shirt with the bike's name emblazoned on the back, made his first pitch to a few hundred voters sitting in folding chairs or leaning on bikes: I'm a Harley guy. And then came the second.
"I'm Scott Walker and I'm running for president," he said after telling the crowd all about his bike.
Walker made his first stop here as an official presidential candidate. Reacting to the announcement of a historic nuclear deal with Iran, the Republican said he would terminate the deal on "day one" should he be elected president and reinstate sanctions with U.S. allies.
"We need a president who will terminate that bad deal with Iran on day one. I will terminate that deal, I will put in place crippling economic sanctions on Iran and I will convince our allies to do the same,” Walker said.
The Wisconsin governor spent much of his speech talking about fights -- ones that he's won and others that he would participate in should he be elected president. Walker spent much of his speech touting his accomplishments in Wisconsin, from taking on public sector unions to lowering taxes to abolishing the teacher tenure system. A group of protesters yelling "union busting's got to go" stood on a sidewalk across a parking lot from the dealership.
"The occupy movement, it didn’t start on Wall Street. It started in Madison, Wisconsin. We didn’t back down. We stood up and won those battles," Walker said.
"We took the power out of the hands of the big government special interest and put firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers. If we can do it for Wisconsin we can do it for all of America," he said.
The Wisconsin governor cast his remarks to the crowd and the media with an economic bent, telling reporters he does not want to change the minimum wage.
"I'm going to let people like Hillary Clinton and others to let that be the basis of their economic plan," he said. "I want to talk about ways for people to get careers that pay two or three time more than the minimum wage" through education and job training.
He also tied excessive government regulations to the economy, saying they are akin to a "wet blanket on the economy."
Walker glossed over the issue of immigration to the crowd in a state where it is a major issue, but got loud applause after telling the crowd that he made it mandatory for voters in Wisconsin to present photo identification at the polls. Walker said that he is fighting for people to achieve the American dream -- "born here or others who have come here legally," he said.
In remarks to reporters, Walker said he is opposed to amnesty, wants to secure the border and framed the issue into an economic one.
"I believe citizenship should have a high bar. As for legal immigration, we should give priority to American working families, their wages in a way that will improve the American economy," he said.
Walker flew into Las Vegas as part of a whirlwind tour of the early nominating states over the next few days. He is determined to win Iowa but must pick up another early nominating state -- and he appears to be putting stock in Nevada, telling the crowd he is a westerner (born in Colorado) and touting future trips to the state.
Abroad, Walker said that America's goal should be peace -- but if the United States is going to fight, it's going to win. He poked at both Vladimir Putin and President Obama, saying that Putin abides by Vladimir Lenin's theory that if you probe with bayonets and find mush to keep pushing -- and that mush is the foreign policy put in place by Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
"The United States needs a foreign policy that puts steel in front of our enemies once again," he said.
Bill Rentner of Las Vegas said he came to see Walker because he likes his record in Wisconsin.
"He fought public sector unions, which are a branch of the Democratic party," Rentner said.
Ardelle Bellman, 60, of Las Vegas, said she believes Walker is the candidate with the best experience to be president.
"He's done stuff. The others are talkers. They're senators. They feed you lines. He walked the talk," Bellman said.
Given the environment -- standing surrounded by gleaming Harleys -- Walker couldn't get away from the bike talk. Running a winning campaign for president could have its downsides, he said.
"They tell me if I’m successful, I don’t get to ride a Harley anymore. That’s one of the downsides," he said.