April 9th, 2014
03:19 PM ET
8 months ago

Scott Walker: College degree not a 'requirement' for higher office

(CNN) – Scott Walker suggested it's not necessary for a presidential candidate to have a college degree - after all, he didn't need one to become governor of Wisconsin.

Walker, who's a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender, was asked at an event Wednesday if he thinks someone seeking the Oval Office should have a college degree.

"I got to be governor without it," he said of not having a college degree. "So I don't think it's any base requirement out there."

He pointed to his rise through Wisconsin's political ranks as evidence that voters judge officials based on their performance in office, not by whether they have a diploma.

"I don't think I needed a college degree to be in the state assembly or to be county executive or to be governor. I don't know about any other position," he said. "But in the end I think most people, for example [as] governor, judge me based on performance and what we're able to do."

Walker attended Milwaukee's Marquette University but left during his senior year to take a job with the American Red Cross. The Badger State executive has said recently that he's considering going back to school through the University of Wisconsin school system's "Flexible Options" program to finish his degree.

"For me it would not be for any requirement for example to be governor as much as it would be ultimately to send a message encouraging others," he said.

Walker touted the University's program as a viable option for non-traditional students to earn a degree, particularly adults like him, who dropped out of school to get a job, whether out of necessity or for an employment opportunity. The program provides online classes with more self-paced curriculums and flexible schedules.

Walker, first elected in 2010, gained national notoriety from conservatives after surviving the recall effort sparked by a budget-balancing initiative that stripped collective bargaining rights from most public unions. After an over year-long battle within the state, Walker beat Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 53% to 46%.

Walker has repeatedly dodged questions about his plans for 2016, telling top GOP donors at a Las Vegas event last month that, "Any Republican who's talking about anything other than 2014 is doing a disservice both to the party and to the country."

And it makes sense that the incumbent governor isn't getting too far ahead of himself. He's up for re-election this year. Wisconsin surveys show Walker with a slight edge over his democratic challenger, Mary Burke.

Still, Walker has refused to commit to serving out a full, four-year term as governor if reelected later this year.


Filed under: 2016 • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Look at Obama. Enough said."

    Yeah, we know, he's brown...get over it.

    April 9, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Pardon the typos I'm sneaking at work!

    April 9, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Tom l

    Amazing how the game here has taken a positive message from Waacher and turned it into a negative. He is giving people hope that they don't have to go to college that they can still serve their country in high office even without a college degree.

    April 9, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    You keep this up Smith, I'm going to start liking you......

    April 9, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "It may not have been necessary for HIM, but can you imagine the outrage if President Obama didn't have one???"

    IOKIYAKBP (it's ok if you're a Koch brothers' puppet)

    April 9, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. kayla

    you're right look at W

    April 9, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This crap, these types of idiotic droolings from the mouths of even bigger morons CNN gives an international platform to; yet when our President puts in place a high school program that encourages educators and students alike to increase their graduation rate we have to read about it via other news sources.
    Shameful.
    Proliferating, nay, silently encouraging stupidity and intellectual stagnation.

    April 9, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    smith

    republicans will vote for anything if they think [if it} will affect the democrats.
    they don't seem to realize that voting for an idiot will affect them too
    ---------------------------
    republicans will vote for anything - they especially like voting for shysters.
    they don't seem to realize that voting -- that would require that they be smarter than the idiot they're voting for.

    "Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?"

    April 9, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. ChrisM

    Scott, Koch lapdog, Walker will Never be Potus

    April 9, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Reggie53

    Alot of people may have college degrees but they have no common sense. It takes common sense to make the right choices. For instance our president has a law degree but that is about all that he has.......he has no leadership skills and is lacking common sense. Nuff said!!!!!!

    April 9, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    GOP education theme:
    – no college
    – take evolution out of school
    – take troublesome critical learning out of schools
    – take statistics out of schools (based on "polling" comments here)
    – gloss over history so you can "revise" it to fit conservative mythology
    – take spelling out of school (based on spelling I have seen here)
    – get rid of science all together so any wacky conspiracy can be floated

    April 9, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. AZ Dem

    @Dean...I guess you are a Palin Fan? Can you see Russia from your back yard too?

    Enough Said!

    April 9, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @bill
    No college degree for higher office? Obama is proof of that.
    --------
    You know you can look his degrees up right?
    That is not even a good try at a hate rumor.

    April 9, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Tom

    Just a little self-serving, no? But, GW Bush went to Princeton and seemed to come through it unscathed by education, so maybe it doesn't matter.

    April 9, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Wake Up
    My response to you on the Hillary story was conveniently distorted by another poster.
    Hope you "caught" that babe.

    April 9, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Some would argue you are an idiot, Scott; a liar, at least, the way you sucked up to the police and fire folks and then turned around and started laying off government workers and vilifying teachers.

    April 9, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Sure, plenty of con artists like Walker who don't have college degrees succeed in ripping people off.

    April 9, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein

    Could you imagine if he had a full education, he might have been smarter about what to do with the state. If he had talked to the state unions about what he needed from them, then there might not have been a recall election or any tarnish on his image. We don't need ideologues running states or being in the Congress.

    April 9, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Dean wrote:

    Look at Obama. Enough said.
    ----------------------
    Look at Walker. Much of his staff has been convicted, and he might not be far behind. Yup, enough said.

    April 9, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Is he actually discouraging young people from seeking higher education? Or, is he actually saying that even an uneducated idiot can be a Republican?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Both.
    This really irritates the hell out of me.
    In my family education is given such great importance.
    It was the way upward and forward for ALL of us.
    To hear this dork speak this way I find to be the height of irresponsibility especially holding the high office that he holds.
    What an example to our youth....

    April 9, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I did DM!! And I was right with you!!! But I got zapped....

    April 9, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @@bill: "No college degree for higher office? Obama is proof of that."

    And in the next breath you'll fox-echo-chamber complain that President Obama is too "professorial," citing his experience teaching C O N S T I T U T I O N A L law at the U. of Chicago... which you can't do unless (you guessed it) you have a college degree.

    April 9, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. tom l

    "Look at Obama. Enough said."

    Yeah, we know, he's brown...get over it.
    =====

    Typical of a person who only sees the race of a person rather than the content of their character.

    DMFO, Real TP,

    Please tell me how it's constructive to jump to this conclusion when the dude never even said anything about race. This is what infuriates me and why I take him to task. It's just nonsensical and illustrates, yet again, that the only one that race even occurs to is Sniffit. All the dude said was that he didn't like Obama and who was the one that assumed it was due to his race? Who was that?

    April 9, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "Is he actually discouraging young people from seeking higher education? Or, is he actually saying that even an uneducated idiot can be a Republican?"

    repubs like 'em dumb and afraid: it's the only way someone would ever vote repub/tea bag.

    April 9, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @ChrisM: "Scott, Koch lapdog, Walker will Never be Potus"

    Walker is just part of the gop strategy we saw in 2012: Load up the clown car and slowly release them to keep the base angry, afraid and opening their wallets. Meanwhile, keep the real nominee (Mitten last time, Jeb Bush this time) under wraps until the time is right to spring him on the gop base. Why else do you think the gop has shortened its primary season? They are trying to find the right amount of crazy to unleash without alienating too many Independents.

    April 9, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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