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Governor Walker Talks National Politics in Milwaukee

Gov. Scott Walker
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gov. Walker on Thursday made the media rounds.Before he hopped on a flight to speak at the Conservative Political Action Campaign in Washington, he addressed a manufacturing conference and reporters in Milwaukee.

Gov. Walker came to Milwaukee, just hours after the state Senate passed right-to-work legislation. It would make union dues in the private sector voluntary. Walker said the timing is right.  For months he maintained that right-to-work was not a priority, even though he supported it.  He said he did not want a repeat of the massive opposition that surfaced to Act 10 – his plan weakening public-sector unions.

“First term (I) was really not interested in having a repeat of what we saw four years ago. We believed that employers needed to have the stability knowing that going forward that we weren’t going to see that,” Walker says.

Right-to-work wasn’t the only thing on the governor’s mind, as he prepared to speak to conservative activists in Washington. They wanted to hear from several Republicans interested in running for president. Walker said terrorism is a big concern.

“I think for many of us as we watch the videos of the horrific scenes of the beheadings and the burnings and other things out there increasingly American’s are worried, and want to make sure we take the fight to them before they take it to us when it comes to radical Islamic terrorists around the world. I think just as a parent I want to make sure for my children’s sake and other sons and daughters like them that we never have something like that wash up on American soil,” Walker says.

Local reporters also wanted to know what Walker thinks about leading other potential GOP candidates in polls. He said he understands there’s a long way to go.

“I used to run track I guess I’d rather be ahead than behind, but there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs along the way. After three elections in four years, the last two of which I was the number one target in America, I guess I’m kind of used to ups and downs,” Walker says.

Walker has not officially launched a presidential campaign although he is raising money and traveling to meet with potential supporters.

The budget he’s proposed for Wisconsin remains in the hands of the Legislature.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.