Scott Walker highlights executive experience to GOP donors
March 29th, 2014
04:29 PM ET
9 months ago

Scott Walker highlights executive experience to GOP donors

Updated 4:36 p.m. ET, 3/29/2014

(CNN) – Touting his executive experience and Wisconsin's success, it certainly sounded like he was running for national office. But Scott Walker wanted to make one thing clear Saturday: Anyone focused on 2016 has the wrong idea.

"Any Republican who's talking about anything other than 2014 is doing a disservice both to the party and to the country," he said.

The Wisconsin governor and potential presidential candidate was speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas, where some of the party's most influential donors and fundraisers meet to talk politics and policy.

The influential crowd draws some big political names, many of whom are considering a run at the White House. Along with Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addressed the conference.

Casino owner and mega Republican donor Sheldon Adelson is meeting with all of the presidential contenders, a source at the meeting tells CNN. Adelson has spent tens of millions of dollars on political contributions.

Walker focused his speech on solutions the Republican Party can offer to problems facing the country.

"What voters in the middle want more than anything... is leadership. They want people to lead. They're so cynical with politics today," Walker said. "It's a sad commentary where we're at in American society that sometimes I get called courageous just because I kept my word. Everywhere else in life that's expected, but somehow in politics, that's exceptional."

In particular, he praised the 29 Republican governors who, he says, have led the country on the road to recovery. Their success makes them better fit for the Oval Office, he said, adding that the next GOP presidential nominee must be someone "from outside Washington."

"If we want to have a strong America, if we want to have a healthy economy, look to the states - because in the states we're talking about growth and opportunity," he said.

"We're the ones at forefront of getting things done. We're the ones who make things happen," he said later.

Among those things, he cited turning a $3.6 billion budget deficit in Wisconsin into a near billion-dollar surplus, lowering the 9.2% unemployment rate by three points, and convincing people that the state is heading in the right direction: Ninety-five percent of Wisconsin business owners say so, he said.

"When you reform things, you make them more efficient, more effective, more accountable to the public," Walker added, arguing the GOP cannot be the party of austerity or "less," but of "more" - "more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity."

Walker also used the platform to talk foreign policy, keen to criticize President Barack Obama and express his concern that America was being weakened around the world.

Walker is up for re-election this fall after a bitter recall election in 2012. At the time, significant protests nearly shut down the state Capitol after Walker proposed a controversial bill that scaled back collective bargaining rights for most state workers and cut the education budget.

"Third time in four years running for governor - I'm getting pretty good at it," he said to laughs.

–CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Scott Walker
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Strategerist

    I thought liberals would love Scott Walker. He exemplifies everything they always preach about, compassion, fighting for the underdog, and compromising with Dems in a purple state.
    He won in a left-leaning state and survived a recall election, where lots of money and support poured in from out of state.
    He turned a $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus in two years.
    What's not to like?

    March 30, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. kevin

    hey gurgyl;; nobody is ready for this idiot.. we have got the biggest idiot [that's being very nice] in their right now, so anything would be a big improvement .

    March 30, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. rs

    Scott Walker has been among the most repressive governors ever seen in the mid-west. It isn hard to see this man's brand of totalitarianism, and hyper-radical anti-abortionism selling across the entire country. This sort of neo-fascism may be popular with the GOP (and so, in fact he may get heavy backing from the Edelsons and Kochs, and may win the nomination), but he'll fail as a candidate.

    The GOP's biggest problem is that they are claiming they can "fix the economy"- same as they promised in 2010. However, not only are they not doing anything on that front, their policies have been amply demonstrated to be anti-growth, or simply pro-rich. They have no record to run on.

    March 30, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Lizzie

    They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...
    Kept your word?!?! Maybe... if you consider "divide and conquer" is keeping your word, Scott...

    March 29, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
    They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...
    However, "250,000 new jobs..." is NOT keeping your word. You won't get that. How about graduating from college? Your word didn't mean much there, either...
    Right out of President Obamas playbook, or maybe I should say Valerie Jarrett and George Soros, guess only those who graduate from Harvard (who only get into because of Affirmative action) is worth anything in your eyes.

    March 30, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Lizzie

    Gurgyl, wrote "people love Medicare", how would you know, SS receiptians have paid into Medicare for years and still have taken 10% of their SS taken out for insurance, plus have to pay 20% of their medical bills. On the other hand MEDICAID is free.

    March 30, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Strategerist

    Governor Walker used pure Reaganomics to bring WI out of a huge fiscal crisis. He is a legitimate executive who has won in a swing state.
    Liberals are just bitter because their standard bearer is flailing in the WH. Just as de Blasio is flailing in NYC using the flaccid liberal play book of higher taxes and pro-teacher's union, anti-school choice and intolerant bashing of anyone who dares to disagree.

    March 30, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Medicaid is not expanded by NC, AZ, Kansas–if you are dare enough–ask those republican idiots to cover it. Very pity. Nation is totally decided by Republican rants to evade taxes.

    March 30, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. S. B. Stein

    His brute force method that punishes people because they belong to a union is wrong. The only reason why he didn't lose in the recall is because the people asking for him to be recalled didn't get enough people out to the polls.

    March 30, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. gowolfpack

    this guy is almost as scary as Ryan...what is with Wisc......taking after Texas in some ways

    March 30, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  10. gowolfpack

    strat....you are crazy as a dazy.......this guy is a moron

    March 30, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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