Walking onstage and shaking hands as Rascal Flatt’s “Life is a Highway” played in the background, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) had a simple message for supporters: “I love America.”
The conservative governor announced he is running for president today in Waukesha, Wisconsin, spending the first moments of his speech sharing personal stories about why he is so sentimental about his country. He described being moved by a veteran in his neighborhood when he was younger, who had served in both World Wars, as well as other veterans he met through various jobs. These acquaintances, he said, taught him the important of public service to defend our basic freedoms.
The current GOP presidential field would make anyone claustrophic (17 candidates have now announced), but Walker has a list of credentials that could perhaps place him in frontrunner position. For example, he took the opportunity to distance himself from his opponents today by reminding voters he doesn’t just talk the talk – he has a string of victories to back up his words. Remember that infamous recall election? In that win, he said, he successfully took power from special interests (labor unions) and gave it to the taxpayers.
Walker summarized his administration’s accomplishments by stating that his kind of leadership knows how to get things done:
“We took on the union and we won,” he said. “We lowered taxes by $2 billion…Property taxes are lower than they were four years ago. How many governors can say that?”
He then listed off other conservative accomplishments, including his defunding of Planned Parenthood, passing pro-life legislation, concealed carry, and voter ID laws. All of these changes were all the more impressive, he suggested, because they were accomplished in a typically liberal environment.
“If our reforms can work in a blue state like Wisconsin, they can work anywhere in America...My record shows that I know how to fight and win. We need a president who will fight and win for America.”
Walker then touched on the conservative spirit by insisting he stands for the dignity of work, not government dependence.
“What makes America great is that America is a can do kind of country.”
Walker is determined to bring his agenda of real reform to Washington, or, as he calls it, “68 square miles surrounded by reality.”
He has a lot on his to do list for day one of his presidency, announcing at different points in his speech that he would both approve the Keystone pipeline and “terminate the bad deal with Iran” as soon as he is sworn into office.
Walker also pledged to repeal Obamacare and provide parents quality school choice for their children. These actions, he said, would funnel power from Washington to the states, where it’s more “accountable” to the American people.
When he stopped to talk about the importance of being Commander-in-Chief, he spoke straight to the camera and ensured Americans he would be committed to their safety. This means, he said, that he would not take lightly the threat of Islamic terror.
“For the sake of your children and mine, I’d rather take the fight to them, instead of waiting until they take the fight to us.”
Toward the conclusion of his remarks, Walker returned to his initial subject: America’s veterans.
“We need to honor our men and women in uniform, going forward by giving them quality health care they deserve when they return home."
His comments were in reference to the disgraceful Veterans Affairs scandal, which has exposed the agency’s failure to treat our former servicemen and women with respect.
“The best way we can honor them, is by fighting to win," he added. "And when we must, Americans must fight to win.”
He ensured anyone who is doubtful that America is more than capable of such victories.
“There is no greater friend, and no worse enemy than the United States of America," he said. "America is a great country,” he said. “We just have to start leading again.”