Politics

Walker Aims to Blunt Trump

Channels frontrunner's anti-Washington stance

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday attributed rival Donald Trump’s surge in the latest Iowa polls to anger with the Washington, D.C., establishment wing of the Republican Party, and he sought to remind voters he shares their sentiments.

Walker, who has been knocked off his perch as poll leader in Iowa, the nation’s first caucus state, also linked Trump’s standing to the recent rise of businesswoman Carly Fiorina in the GOP president primary.

“People are so frustrated with Washington, particularly even with Republicans in Washington,” Walker said.

“I think there’s a common thread there,” Walker said on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” pointing to frustration with Washington. “I think it is a logical and natural reaction to say, ‘We’re going to gravitate towards outspoken folks who’ve never run for office before or haven’t held office before as a reaction to send a message to the politicians in Washington.’ My hope would be that people see that I share that sentiment.

“It’s why I came in in 2010 and not only took on the Democrats but took on my own party establishment,” he added, channeling an outsider persona.

“A lot of folks said, ‘We have the House but don’t have the Senate,'” Walker said. “Republicans said, ‘Well, give us the Senate and we’ll repeal Obamacare, give us the Senate and we’ll take on the president.'”

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A CNN/ORC poll this week put Trump in first place in Iowa, with 22 percent of the vote. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who also has never held public office, was second in that survey with 14 percent of the vote. Walker was third at 9 percent.

That came on top of two other polls suggesting that Trump is leading in Iowa.

Walker said he will stress the importance of results over rhetoric.

“For me, I guess the way to break through is to just consistently come through and say, ‘Past actions are a pretty good preview to what someone would do as president.’ And we’ve done it.”

Walker rose to national prominence because of his high-stakes fight with his state’s public employee labor unions, surviving a recall effort that the battle attracted. But he said his record includes passage of a law expanding the right to use guns in self-defense and restrictions on abortion, in addition to a right-to-work law. He also defunded Planned Parenthood.

Walker said of candidates running on conservative rhetoric, “You’d better mean it. You’d better do something about it.”

“In a blue state like Wisconsin, we’ve gotten almost every common sense, conservative reform,” he said. “We didn’t just take on the unions. … We did it without compromise.”

Walker said of candidates running on conservative rhetoric, “You’d better mean it. You’d better do something about it.”

Walker declined invitations to attack former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He instead trained his fire on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. He criticized her recent plan to expand access to college, pointing out that while Wisconsin was freezing in-state tuition at public universities for four straight years, Clinton has been charging $225,000 a pop for speeches on college campuses.

That amount of money, said Walker, could pay off an average of seven student loans.

“I want to have these fights with Hillary Clinton,” he said. “I want to have those contrasts out there that Hillary Clinton would be worse than this president.”

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