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EXCLUSIVE: Scott Walker on how he prevailed through union battles

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Walker on how he prevailed through union battles

The personal toll the bitter union fights took on Gov. Walker and his family

At the RedState gathering, I had an opportunity to sit down with Republican Presidential contender and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Rather than focus on policy, I decided to talk to Governor Walker about his bitter battle with the Wisconsin unions and how those encounters affected him personally.

“Those are the sorts of battles, maybe not as high profile as it was then, but essentially that the president goes through all the time,” said Walker.

“Personally, the biggest challenge was they went after not just me, but my family. I remember one death threat I got was directed at my wife right before I went out for a press conference. The head of my detail comes in and shows me and it said:

Dear Tonette (that’s my wife),

There’s never been a Governor assassinated in Wisconsin, but if you don’t do something, that could change.

“And then it proceeded to say where she worked, where my children went to school, what door they went in at school, where my father-in-law lived, and right down the line. I think they thought they would get to me and intimidate me. Quite frankly, it just pissed me off.”

How did Governor Walker cope with the stress of such violently, strong opposition and did he have a support system he utilized?

“Personally for me, one of the best things I did was get out of the Capitol. You’re overwhelmed in the Capitol — both because it’s liberal and because it’s the Capitol. After the first week, I got out and flew around the state just about every day. I can’t tell you how helpful that was.”

“I would go to factories, farms and small businesses. I remember a big ol’ burly guy, covered in grease and stuff like that — I’m walking by him on a tour. He turns off his equipment, comes over to me and pokes me in the chest and I’m thinking, ok, here it comes. He said, “Governor, me and my wife and kids, we pray for you every single night.” It was just so powerful.”

“I met a mechanic at another place who wrote on a piece of paper, “Isaiah 54:17: No weapon cast against you shall prevail.””

“To me, it was a support system. It wasn’t just my family, it was God. Not that God necessarily said every step I took, but I felt enveloped in a sense of protection as though God was sending messages through angels saying, “you’re going to be fine. Do what you think is right. Stay on the right path, you’re going to be fine.””

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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miklos000eosza | August 18, 2015 at 7:34 am

Walker remains my choice for 2016. I’m patient.

    MattMusson in reply to miklos000eosza. | August 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Walker, Cruz, Fiarino or Trump would all get my full support. Some others I could hold my nose and vote for.
    I will not vote for Jeb Bush. I will give my vote to the Libertarians before voting for Bush.

Not only did he defeat the full national power of Big Labor FOUR times (his election, recall, Supreme Court Chief Justice election, & his reelection) in a bluish purple state, but Walker has been as thoroughly vetted through those elections as any American politician has every been. If the Democratic dirt-diggers with national union backing couldn’t even find something minor to exaggerate, this guy is clean.

– –

Walker is also one of the few potential compromise candidates who could attract the support of most of the infra-party groups.

The worst possible Final Three would be Trump, Bush, and Huckabee, as that might leave none of them able to unite the party, while enough Republicans might refuse to support any one of them to sink his general election chances. Of course we are ages and epochs away from the time that might happen, if ever, and none of those three might be in it at the end.

Cool story.

Good man.

Walker: “To me, it was a support system. It wasn’t just my family, it was God. Not that God necessarily said every step I took, but I felt enveloped in a sense of protection as though God was sending messages through angels saying, “you’re going to be fine. Do what you think is right. Stay on the right path, you’re going to be fine.””

This is the peace that passes understanding…

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Apostle Paul to the church in Philippi.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” Pslam 31:15

Like I said before.

It’s easy for the current candidates to parade themselves as champions of liberty…but only one candidate has the battle scars to prove it.

The last Republican who knew how to win Blue State voters in the midst of a public union strike was Reagan. Walker may not have Reagan’s stage personality but his humility, zero-pompous nature will be just as appealing to blue collar independent voters.

My line-up for the hunger games in October 2016.

    NavyMustang in reply to Aucturian. | August 18, 2015 at 11:31 am

    “My line-up for the hunger games in October 2016.

    I like it!

    That’s the same line-up I’ve been proposing for a while now! 🙂

    Radegunda in reply to Aucturian. | August 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I’m up-voting you on Walker, but Fiorina needs more scrutiny. She does bring an assertiveness in speech that Walker is a little short on (though he is admirably assertive in action), but some of her past statements and positions are matters of concern — such as her praise for a highly romanticized view of “Islamic civilization.”

    The current administration is importing masses of Muslims, while rejecting asylum applications from severely persecuted Christians and Yazidis. Anyone who has looked at the alarming trends in Europe ought to understand that Islam itself is a destructive force and a global problem, which cannot be effectively met if it’s misunderstood as only a matter of some “extremists.”

He’s got billions of Koch dollars to cry into after destroying American workers’ careers. Boo fucking hoo, the evil SOB needs to dig ditches for a penny a year for the rest of his miserable life.

    Ragspierre in reply to Chem_Geek. | August 18, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Jus’ gotta wave that ass in the air, huh?

    Innit interesting that, given FREEDOM to decide, at least half of unionized teachers decided to spend their money as THEY deemed wise?

    Me…and Walker…want you to have the freedom to belong to a union, Chem-Gleeek. We also want you to have the freedom NOT to.

    Ya moron.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Chem_Geek. | August 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    He’s got billions of Koch dollars to cry into after destroying American workers’ careers.

    We had never heard of the Koch brothers until the lefties decided to nominate them the twin Emmanuel Goldsteins of their hatefest against Governor Walker. If they hadn’t existed, the lefties would have invented them – as George Orwell did Goldstein.

    Sorry, lefties, the Koch brothers are pretty good dudes, far more honest and humanitarian then the win-by-all-means hatefests you think necessary to gain power.

      The Koch brothers got their wealth by manufacturing useful products, in enterprises that employ many people at good wages. George Soros got his wealth by manipulating financial markets and destroying currencies, making other people poor.

      It’s very instructive that leftists find Soros money so much more acceptable than Koch money.

      You may not have heard of them. Those of us paying attention have known of them and their good works for decades — at least since David ran for vice president in 1980. They are wonderful people, generous and intelligent.

    Milhouse in reply to Chem_Geek. | August 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Liar. He has no Koch dollars at all. The Kochs haveve been very generous and helpful in persuading people to vote for him, but they’ve never given him anything.

    Frank G in reply to Chem_Geek. | August 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    what an infantile screed. Pretty much a primal scream of Liberals whose grip on perma-funding via mandatory payroll deduction was stripped down to free choice. Sucks to be you, hmmmm?

Getting the nomination is only the first step. After that, there is the general election. One thing that Walker also has is the demonstrated ability to attract nominally Democratic voters.
For me, this is a tie-breaker.

Another thing I really like about him is that he does not mouth off with off-the-cuff responses to attacks by others. John F’n Kerry used to do that, and the Bush-Cheny team gleefully made him look like a fool. Kerry’s problem was that something would happen, a reporter would (predictably) ask a misleading question, and Kerry’s response would be to the question instead of the underlying situation. Somebody else would fill him in with a follow-up question, and Kerry would then backtrack.

Walker has been criticized for being slow to respond, for instance, to Trump’s remarks denigrating his record as governor:

but the reply, when it came, was a knockout. It is summarized in the article above, but the video is better.

I’m not going to go after other candidates. I’m going to talk about what I’m for. You can look at my record. We had a $3.6 billion budget deficit we inherited. We turned it around. We cut taxes by $2 billion. Property taxes are lower today than when we took office. Our rainy day fund is 165 times bigger than when we took office.

Our pension is the only one fully funded in the country. Our schools are better. Our hospitals are better. Our state is better. I think, people look at the facts, they will say, if you can do all that in a blue state, we can definitely do it for America.

CAVUTO: What he is saying, as you know, Governor, is that it’s not all that, and that this surplus that you alluded to, the $2.6 billion that became the billion, and now he says is a deficit of more than $2 billion.
What do you say?

WALKER: Well, those are the — interesting, because those are the Democrat talking points from earlier this year. They have stopped saying them because they have been proven to be wrong.


There is a Breitbart article mischaracterizing this response as “Walker sank to a new low.”

of course, it’s no surprise, because it was Matthew Boyle.

Many reporters continue to write and speak as if they have very little time or space to report. That is not really true, any more. I would appreciate it if they would make an effort to include the QUESTION that a candidate is responding to, in full. Too many of these articles sound like the guy made a speech in a vacuum, rather than respond to the second or third follow-up question by a reporter determined to get a response. The editing process gives a false impression.

Also, traditional newspaper editors often served to delete sermonizing from articles written by reporters, particularly during election campaigns, when there is a serious danger that a reporter’s filter may slip. Matthew Boyle needs an editor.

    Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | August 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Yeeeeeup. Very nicely rendered and supported.

    Radegunda in reply to Valerie. | August 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    It’s dismaying that so many people who imagine themselves to be thoughtful conservative are more impressed by Trump’s bluster and promises (however inconsistent they may be) than by Walker’s record of courageous and successful action in office.

    The stampy-foot “I hate all politicians” attitude behind Trump-fandom ignores the plain fact that anyone elected to office has to work within the established system and processes, and cannot do everything unilaterally — unless one wants another Obama-style imperial presidency, but even more so. That seems to be the underlying wish of Trump fans who declare their desire to destroy the GOP, or the “uniparty.”

    Trump fans answer most any criticism of Trump with cries of “No Jeb!” — but the Trump-mania pulls attention away from the more serious conservatives who aren’t off-putting to centrist Democrats.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Radegunda. | August 19, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      I often speak in favor of Trump, just to watch the steam shoot out of various peoples’ ears.

      Fun, fun, fun.

“I think they thought they would get to me and intimidate me. Quite frankly, it just pissed me off.”

GOOD. That’s the kind of President we need. One that will not be intimidated, one that will get pissed off and lay down the law, one that all of our nations enemies will FEAR pissing off.

He’s a very unassuming man. I know someone just like that, looks like a nice, harmless guy. You’d never guess he was a black belt in tae kwon do.

He truly speaks softly and carries a big stick.

I’m not too picky about the “clean” part though. Look at Churchill. He wasn’t “clean” at all. He made his fair share of mistakes, had his own personal vices…

then take a look at Hitler during his rise to power. He was squeaky clean.

I’m not too big on the education thing anymore either. Indeed, education does not equal competence. Obama has an ivy league education. Compare that with Walker.

I like him. I like Fiorina, Cruz, and Trump because they are fighters. We need fighters.