Scott Walker

FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks in West Allis, Wis. More than a dozen potential Republican candidates are contemplating White House bids in 2016 in what’s shaping up as a crowded and diverse field. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Wisconsin governor says his reform agenda could sweep nation
By David Garrick
Jan. 15, 2015

CORONADO — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told Republican National Committee members on Thursday night that the success he’s had cutting public employee benefits and lowering taxes could sweep the nation and help Republicans take back the White House in 2016.

“Common-sense reforms can work, not just in Wisconsin, but they can work all across America,” said Walker, one of a handful of potential candidates for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination to appear at the RNC’s three-day session at the Hotel del Coronado.

“You can put the power back in the hands of the hard-working workers.”

Earlier in the day, physician Ben Carson, another prospective candidate, created national news when he said the U.S. could learn something from ISIS, the Islamic State militant group that has killed hundreds in the Middle East, including journalists and other Westerners.

“They’ve got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busy giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness,” he said to applause during a luncheon speech. “We have to change that.”

Two other potential presidential contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, are scheduled to speak Friday. The meeting has largely been focused on the coming presidential election. Other would-be contenders who did not attend have sent senior aides to gauge interest and lobby for support.

The presidential race is seen as one of the most wide open in many years because the Democrats won’t be running an incumbent and no Republican at this point seems to be a prohibitive favorite.

The potential candidates include several cultural conservatives, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Carson.

Meanwhile, Romney’s surprise interest in making a third attempt to become president has dramatically altered the early dynamics. There could be three high-profile, mainstream Republicans — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Romney — battling to become the party’s establishment candidate.

Also, some Midwestern governors, such as Walker, could enter the fray. Walker is considered to the right of the big three contenders.

In 2011, Walker stripped state employees of bargaining rights and faced a recall election the following year. He survived by a comfortable margin and some analysts suggest that makes him “battle-tested” for a campaign on a larger stage.

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