Seven Things You Should Know About Scott Walker

Terrance Heath

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has scored the biggest sugar daddies in the GOP presidential primary, but it may not be enough to get him the Republican presidential nomination, or the White House.

Everyone knows Scott Walker has been running for president since shortly after he was sworn in as governor of Wisconsin. Today, Walker officially became the 15th candidate to squeeze into the GOP presidential primary clown car, with a tweet, and a Facebook video teasing his candidacy ahead of his formal announcement.

Walker could have big money behind him. Brothers Charles and David Koch plan to pump $889 million into the 2016 presidential election, through their network of dark money organizations, to defeat the Democratic nominee. In April, David Koch told the crowd at a New York Republican Party Fundraiser, “When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination.” With their personal fortunes estimated at $85 billion, the Koch Brothers could outspend anyone else in the election. Still, even the Koch brothers’ patronage may not be enough to get Walker through the primaries. Walker’s pathological flip-flopping, his willingness to pander to the basest of the GOP base, his scandal-ridden administration, and his abysmal economic record could be his undoing.

When it comes to flip-flopping on issues like immigration, Walker is an ideological acrobat.

Walker has reversed himself on so many issues, it’s hard to keep track. All of his flip-flopping makes Walker seem like a guy who changes his position to match the audience his addressing.



As governor, Walker did a number on Wisconsin’s workers and economy.

Walker is one of three sitting Republican governors in the presidential race whose records are so abysmal that even Republicans in their states can’t wait to get rid of them. (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Jersey’s Chris Christie are the other two.) With help from their Republican legislatures, and sizable factions of tea party conservatives, the governors turned their states in to laboratories for the right-wing policies they want to force on the rest of the country. It's Walker's War On The Workers

Walker took collective bargaining away from most state workers, and pledged to create 250,000 jobs in the state, by slashing public spending and giving massive tax breaks wealthy Wisconsinites and corporations. It didn’t happen. As of September, Wisconsin had created just over half that number of jobs. Walker also turned down $810 million in federal funding to build high-speed rail, causing train manufacturer Tango to abandon its factory in Milwaukee. As Walker finishes up as governor, Wisconsin rants 40th in job growth and 42nd in wage growth.

Meanwhile, Walker put the squeeze on workers.

Finally, Walker is having such a hard time balancing his state budget that he’s delaying debt payments. He’s leaving the state with a $2.2 billion deficit that one expert called a “self-inflicted wound”

When it comes to scandals, Walker is among the most “Nixonian of the GOP candidates.

Walker made climate denialism a matter of state policy.

Climate change denialism is a prerequisite for the GOP presidential nomination. Sure, establishment Republicans may take a more nuanced view, but the base demands hardcore denialism, and Walker gives it to them.

Walker would take his war on women from Wisconsin to the White House.


As governor of Wisconsin, Walker dutifully waged war on women’s economic equality and reproductive rights. He’ll do the same in the White House.

Walker panders to the far

right to win the nomination, but wants to have it both ways on issues like marriage equality.


Walker tries his best to sound like the culture warrior GOP primary voters want, but he tries to have it both ways on an issue like marriage equality.

Walker cynically panders to the GOP’s lunatic wing to secure the nomination.

Apparently, it doesn’t take much to satisfy the wingnut faction of the GOP. Agreeing with them helps, but it isn’t necessary. As long as you remain “uncertain” you can keep the base satisfied, and edge back towards sanity after securing the nomination.

Walker will find himself caught in the same trap he and the rest of the GOP have set for themselves; between an electorate that’s moving farther and father away from them, and a base that won’t let them move an inch.

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