WAUKESHA, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), who has largely disappeared from national politics since the end of his presidential bid, said in a new radio interview that he will likely endorse either Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) before Wisconsin’s April 5 primary.
“We’re probably going to make a decision this week,” Walker told WTMJ-AM (620) host Charlie Sykes in an interview recorded before Tuesday’s Arizona and Utah contests. “I think it’s probably best, in the next couple days, to do something after Easter, when it would have the maximum impact. Unlike my friend [Gov.] Gary Herbert in Utah the other day, I’m not going to wait until the day before. Probably in the next week or so we’ll, one, make a decision whether we’re going to endorse or not, then secondly, specifically, who we’re going to get behind.”
Herbert endorsed Cruz on Monday as polling suggested that the Texan was going to run away with the state’s caucuses. By winning more than 50 percent of the vote there, Cruz netted all 40 available delegates, putting him just 18 delegates down for the day after Trump’s landslide win in Arizona. Walker fully endorsed Cruz’s narrative of the race, in which he can fight Trump to a standstill, but Kasich can only play spoiler.
“You’ve pointed out that if you’re someone who’s uneasy with the front-runner, right now there’s only one candidate — I think if you’re just looking at the numbers objectively — Ted Cruz," Walker told Sykes. “Senator Cruz is the only one who’s got a chance, other than Donald Trump, to win the nomination. My friend Governor Kasich cannot.”
Both Kasich and Cruz are stumping in the Milwaukee suburbs today, a bastion of conservative votes that is trending — unlike other Midwestern suburbs — strongly against Trump. Sykes, who told listeners that Kasich cannot win any of Wisconsin’s delegates (they are assigned to the statewide winner and the winner of each congressional district), has endorsed Cruz as a stop-Trump candidate.
But later in the interview, Walker repeatedly argued that a convention that no candidate entered with a majority of delegates would be healthy for the party. He stressed, as Kasich stresses, that a situation like that should be considered “open,” not “brokered.” And he raised the possibility that the party could nominate someone who came to the Cleveland convention trailing, perhaps badly trailing, in the delegate hunt.
“Remember, Abraham Lincoln won in Chicago in 1860 because of an open convention,” Walker said. “He was not the front-runner when he came in. In fact, he wasn’t even near the front until several ballots in. That gives us hope. Our first Republican president, and arguably one of our best, was someone who came in through an open process.”