April 9th, 2014
03:19 PM ET
9 years 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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='danadavidsen']

"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. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama: "Pardon the typos I'm sneaking at work!"

    I post on my lunch break. 🙂

    April 9, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    You keep this up Smith, I'm going to start liking you......
    smith is cool.
    You can at least disagree with him most times and not get the script flipped on you midway in order to make sure that he comes out on top.
    I respect anyone that can at least say "Ok, we share this in common, as to the rest let's agree to disagree".

    April 9, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama: "Pardon the typos I'm sneaking at work!"

    I post on my lunch break. 🙂
    Daaang babe! Are they hiring where you work? You get some nice lunch breaks!
    Dang! Here comes the GM.........

    April 9, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @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.

    When President Obama's opponents continually lie and mischaracterize his words and actions, then what other explanation is there?

    April 9, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. basedonfact

    These people tell the poor "IT's your fault you are poor because you didn't get educated" one day and cut the funding to the technical college system by 30% the next.

    April 9, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. rs

    Well, only if you want to be a fascist TEA Party guy like Walker, maybe.

    April 9, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l
    tom you cannot possibly try to put The Real Tom or myself in a position where we are to explain to you what someone else meant by their post, or even why they said what they said.
    I'm not doing that. You have to ask Sniffit that question. It is only fair to Sniffit.
    I will however say that based on how THIS President has been treated Sniffit's comment is on point.
    But that's just my opinion of couse tom l.
    BTW are you also signing in as Tom l (big 'T')?

    April 9, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. JohnK

    You particularly don't need a degree if you are running as a Repuglican. As a matter of fact, it is helpful to not have one since only a semi-literate boob would deny climate change, evolution, and equal rights.

    April 9, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. sammy750

    Yes but, grade school is Gov. Walker, when are you going to complete 8th grade?

    April 9, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Tom l, I never made a reference to race. How dare you even bring that up and mention my name in that discussion. This is another example of your sloppy, lazy, blanket accusations.

    April 9, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Rusty Krus

    Poor little Scotty. Why did his Mom have to drink so much when she was carrying him?

    April 9, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    To put it bluntly, tom l, very disappointing: you are better than that

    April 9, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l
    Please tell me how it's constructive to jump to this conclusion when the dude never even said anything about race.
    I'm not sure if constructive is an applicable word here tom l.
    The thing is that people's life experiences shape and mold their frame of reference. Those experiences by the way include observations.
    Often times tom l there are things that are not stated but inferred, thus the phrase 'read between the lines'.
    I find that you come across as either a person who takes things literally or at face value or as someone who is being willfully obtuse and naive. I would like to give you the benefit of a doubt, so I'm going with the former.
    People say more than what's actually coming out of their mouths is all I'm saying.
    I don't think it is stretch of anybody's imagination to concede that based on race relations in this country and the plight of the Black man through our history it wouldn't be a reach to say that whereas a Gov. Walker would not need a college education a Barack Obama would.

    April 9, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
1 2 3