Governor Scott Walker talks about the campaign, explicating the kind of Washington outsider Americans are/should be looking for in a presidential candidate, the actions he would take on day one of being in office, and the current refugee crisis.
The audio: 09-10hhs-walker
HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt, joined now on the run-up to next Wednesday’s debate by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show, Governor, it’s great to have you again.
SW: Hey Hugh. Thanks, and thanks for having me on. It’s kind of nice, going to be at the Reagan Library next week. I’m looking forward to the debate. This morning, I was at his alma mater, Eureka College, talking about wreaking havoc on Washington, something that reminded me of his quote about it was time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.. Certainly something he shared and unfortunately that swamp’s kind of been filled in since then. We need a leader who’s going to drain it again.
HH: Governor, later in the program, I talk with Mac Thornberry who’s chairman of the House Armed Services Committee about the fact that the Senate today refused to take out the Corker-Cardin bill’s requirement that they vote down the Iran deal. So filibuster rules are again gridlocking D.C.. I know you’ve spoken out against the filibuster before and now you’re wreaking havoc on D.C.. I think the case for top-to-bottom is growing in the grassroots.
SW: Oh, absolutely. As I’ve said with you in Denver, to me, I’ve never understood, it’s not in the Constitution, it’s not required. It’s just part of the tradition, and I think it’s a tradition that’s ridiculous. You look at statehouses across America, the checks and balances between the chambers and between the branches are more than enough to provide adequate checks and balances. When you let a minority of the minority stall things, you really thwart progress in America and it’s about time we stood up and did something about it.
HH: So I want to talk to you, Governor Walker, about the refugee crisis, but first, what do you think is the impact of hundred billion dollars going to General Soleimani and the Quds Forces?
SW: Well, I think it’s bad. People think, “Oh, this deal is going to quiet down.” No, I think it only empowers them. This is someone who literally has got the blood to hunt [the] blood of hundreds of American service-members on his hands. And we’re sending the message to Iran and to his forces – which are really forces of evil- if you think about terrorism around the world. But we’re allowing them to take on a greater presence in the Middle East. The idea that containing ISIS and allowing Iran to have a growing presence and its components’ growing presence in the Middle East and around the world. It’s just a sign of absolute terror and it’s leading from behind. It’s a bad thing. It’s going to bite us in the butt in the short-term and obviously it’s going to have a long-term impact as well.
HH: Now Governor Walker, what about the refugee crisis? What do you think America ought to be doing about it?
SW: Well, a lot of Americans don’t know is that right now the United States just last year alone helped settle some nearly seventy-thousand refugees. One of the leaders in the world in that regard, including several thousand from Syria. We’ve accepted asylum for something like thirty thousand and just in Dallas and since, we’ve put four billion – that’s with a “b” – four billion dollars with the humanitarian aid on the table not just to help directly enter Syria but with neighboring countries have taken on refugees. We’re doing a fair amount. I think [it’s] time to take anymore. I would take anymore. What I would do is step up and say we got to address head-on the problem – not the symptoms – but the problem. And the problem is really two-fold. It is ISIS and the safe haven in particular it has in Syria and really the chaos it’s creating throughout that region. And that means during things like lifting the political sanctions on the military personnel already in Iraq as well as doing more to train something more than sixty folks that even Secretary Carter talked about training in resistance in Syria. We’ve problems with ISIS, in Syria and Iraq. We’ve got problems with Assad that needs to be regime-changed in Syria. Those are two different, but in many ways related problems unless we get to the core of the problem which is that those fundamental bases – those refugee problems are just going to grow.
HH: Now I switch to politics, Governor Walker. This has been a crazy day between Donald Trump calling Chris Cuomo, Jeb Bush being on this program, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson’s friend, denouncing Trump, and the Rolling Stone interview. I’ve talked to members of your senior advisory team and they say Scott Walker has been through so many wars, he actually doesn’t ruffled and he doesn’t react very much, but this has got to be strange even by Wisconsin recall standards isn’t it?
SW: It is. I’m glad to see it is entertaining, but it’s strange it’s probably a better scenario. I’m just confident though in the end. We saw in Wisconsin, remember I was so far down in the polls in the spring of 2011, Time Magazine actually said I was “Dead-Man Walker,” it was their headline. And then, we came back that next year and won with more votes and a higher percentage of the vote. Why? Because in the end, not just in my state, but serious voters around the country – what they want are solutions and they want people who are tested. If you want to wreak havoc in Washington which is what I talked about morning in Eureka, you need people with real solutions, not just bumper stickers, not just phrases. I’m the only major candidate – the only candidate who will be on the stage when you and others interview us next week who actually has a plan to repeal Obamacare and put patients and families back in charge of their healthcare decisions. I just look at the rest of this field and say good people, but don’t just tell us you want to repeal Obamacare, tell us what that means. My plan would start on day one when I would send it up to Congress and to get them to act on it. On day one, I would actually sign an executive order to require Congress, their families, and their staff to live by the same rules as the rest of us in America. I think that would be all the incentive in the world. They would need to act on it. Those are the sorts of things people are going to look at. Do you have real solutions? And is this a leader who’s been tested? And we’ve tested like nobody else in this campaign.
HH: So Governor Walker, when people look at this debate and the debates that follow and then finally go into Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and the primaries on March 1 and March 15th. As a matter of policy, I’m not sure where there is great deal of differences among the leading Republican contenders. A lot of personality differences. What do you think a voter is going to want most in a nominee this time.
SW: Well, I think action. Some people confuse the sentiment amongst primary voters as being anger. I think anger ultimately leads to people checking out. What I don’t hear is anger as much as – people are upset, don’t get me wrong. Heck, I’m upset. These Republican leaders promise this vote on repealing Obamacare, it was just after Labor Day, we don’t have anything on the President’s desk. But instead of anger, I see it as a sense of urgency. They want leaders who share their urgency. They know that talk is cheap. They want action. We’re going to have specific plans in action to wreak havoc on Washington, to put the government back into the control of the people. I think the more we can lay that out, the better. And I think they want to know, in particular, what are you going to do right away? We call it the “Day One Plan,” we’re prepared to take action even against the Congress to get them to act on the Obamacare plan right away. We’re ready to terminate the bad deal with Iran on day one and there is a difference there. Governor Bush – good man, friend of mine, like him on a lot of other [issues] – but he and I have a difference of opinion. He thinks you need to wait before terminating that deal. You’ve got one of the other candidates just talking about maybe he can make that deal work. I believe that, with experts I’ve looked at on this, this fundamentally a bad deal. I don’t need to wait for people in Washington to tell me what I can and can’t do. I am prepared to terminate that bad deal on day one, and I think the voters out there want to hear definitives. They want know what are you going to do, and how quickly are you going to take action.
HH: Last question, Governor. Paul Solotaroff in the Rolling Stone wrote about that other guy who just referred to as Donald Trump obviously, and he wrote a lengthy essay on Trump’s appeal. The money quote was, “Because Trump’s central claim is he’s not them.” In another words, he’s tapping into the outsider demand which you were drafting on for a long period of time. Who is the most outside of the outsiders? You, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Donald Trump – who is it?
SW: Well, I think they all claim to it, the difference is, you just want an outsider or do you want someone who can actually shake things up? Because we made a mistake – or I shouldn’t say we because I didn’t vote for him – but Americans made a mistake in 2008 by putting someone who thought said many of the right things. It was many people in this country. Not many of your listeners, but some majority of people did out there, thought he was saying the right things, and lo and behold they found afterwards, hey, this guy’s never run anything before. He’s never been in charge of anything done before. Maybe he’s in over his head, and I think that’s a legitimate concern. I think going through this before, I have been as anti-Washington as you can get. I took on all the Washington power structure first in the protest and they ultimately recoiled and then again even last year, we did not back down. We fought. We won. We got results. And we did it without compromising our conservative principles. If that’s what people truly want out of the next president, then why take a risk in someone who says maybe some the right things but who’s never proven they could do it. And in similar circumstance, why not go with someone who has done it. And that’s exactly what we’re banking on. We’re going to show people what we’re for, and they look at our record and realize you can take it to the bank.
HH: Last quick question. A lot of people say that they don’t want anyone who’s ever run and won elected office before. Is that – baby in bath – overreacting?
SW: Yes, if you were going to hire someone to run your business, be it a small business or any other small-sized business, you wouldn’t say I want someone who’s never a run a business like this before. You’d run someone who did it well. I invoked Reagan today at his alma mater, one of my favorite quotes he ever said is that we need to drain the swamp in Washington D.C.. You want someone who can do something like that, why not pick someone who’s taken on that kind of establishment. I took it on, I didn’t back down. They threw everything they could at us. We didn’t back down. We did what was right. We actually won. We got results. Like you said, we did without compromising our conservative principles. If that’s you want, the same way if you had someone you wanted to run [your] business that cans potatoes, wouldn’t you want someone to run a similar type business and do it well? I think that ultimately in the end is going to be the key to success for our campaign.
HH: Governor Walker, thanks for joining us. I’ll be right back, America, don’t go anywhere. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.
End of Interview