Walker makes a 2016 pitch – CNN
Coronado, California (CNN)Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker portrayed himself as a battle tested warrior who has successfully beat back successive attempts by powerful Democratic-aligned organizations to try and defeat him, during a campaign style speech Thursday night to members of the Republican National Committee.
Walker, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, used his remarks to sharply criticize Washington and Hillary Clinton as he argued that Republicans should look to the states for a presidential nominee in 2016.
While not outwardly saying he would run, it was clear Walker was making the point to these state party leaders and activists that he has the record and the experience to be the next GOP nominee.
“I want to share a vision, I think we have a unique opportunity going forward, not only for the good of this party, but more importantly for the good of the country, to find a new fresh leader out there who can take big bold ideas, take ideas that come from of outside of Washington, from the states all the way down to the grassroots,” Walker said.
“We need someone who hopefully has the backing and the track-record of success, of showing that commonsense, commonsense conservative reforms can work not just in Wisconsin, but they can work all across America.”
Walker reiterated a common theme throughout his remarks that it is a time for a “fresh new approach” — an apparent reference to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, both of whom have strongly signaled they will seek the Republican nomination. As he was leaving the ballroom following his speech, Walker was asked about Romney, to which he replied “good man” as he walked away.
In his speech, he noted it was critical for the GOP to offer voters a contrasting vision and experience in governing in the next election.
“For us going forward, if we are going to be up against particularly, Hillary Clinton, we got to offer a new fresh approach, and ideally it comes from the states,” he said.
“The reason for that, the reason we mentioned last week in our inaugural address is the states is the place where he actually gets things done. That matters.”
Walker was a top target for national Democrats last year, but he won re-election by more than five points. He survived a recall election in 2012.
Walker also emphasized that he enjoyed campaigning and meeting voters — an important trait for a presidential candidate who endures grueling hours on the road away from family and friends.
He told the audience that the reason he was motivated to run for governor in 2009 was because of his sons.
“We were afraid that the state was not as great as the Wisconsin we grew up in,” Walker said of the decision he made with his wife to seek the governorship.
Walker then followed by saying that since taking office, “because of our reforms in our great state of Wisconsin, they are growing up in a state that is better, even better than the state I grew up in.”
He later added, “I look at our country I am worried about our country the same way I was worried about my state in 2009.”