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Entries in Scott Walker (48)

Friday
Jul052013

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Bill to Restrict Abortions

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- Wisconsin abortion providers are criticizing Governor Scott Walker for signing a controversial bill after the Fourth of July holiday. The bill requires women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound of the beforehand, so that they can see the fetus that they would be aborting.

Republican state Senator Mary Lazich, the sponsor of the bill said, "This wasn't the only bill. I don't know, there must have been at least maybe a dozen or more that he signed today." The abortion bill would also require all doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

Planned parenthood has already filed a lawsuit challenging the new law.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the bill would cut the number of abortion clinics in the state from four to two and would force one of the remaining two to dramatically limit the number of abortions they provide.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov282012

Scott Walker Not Mulling White House Run -- Yet

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- Could the governor from Wisconsin win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination?

At the moment, Scott Walker has more immediate concerns, namely a scandal involving former aides who investigators claim did some shady things when Walker was Milwaukee county executive.

In a probe dating back two years, former Walker underling Timothy Russell was accused of taking $20,000 from a program to assist veterans.

On Tuesday, Russell accepted a plea bargain, admitting that he embezzled from the tax-payer funded Heritage Guard Preservation Society as well as filching money from two candidates for the Milwaukee County Board.  It's likely Russell will do some jail time.  

Meanwhile, two other former Walker aides previously copped plea bargains.

Walker insisted again on Tuesday that he's not part of the scandal, saying that after two years, "if there were bigger concerns, they'd be coming to us about those."

As for presidential aspirations, Walker, who survived a recall election earlier this year, maintains he's focused on the job at hand although Republicans outside Wisconsin believe the public will forget about his problems with unions once 2016 rolls around.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug292012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Gets Biggest Applause of Night at RNC

Scott Olson/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Turns out Chris Christie was not the only rock star governor speaking at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.  Enter Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who successfully fought off a recall attempt this year.

“As was the case in Wisconsin two years ago, too many Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction,” Walker said.  “But Mitt Romney understands, like I understand, that people -- not governments -- create jobs.”

Walker also offered a well-received nod to fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan, a vice presidential pick that Walker said “showed that he has the experience and the skill needed to become president” and “the courage and the passion to be an exceptional president.”

He may have been passed over as Mitt Romney’s running mate, but Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell addressed the convention and immediately jabbed Vice President Joe Biden’s state mix-up earlier this month.

“Are you ready to elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 70 days?” McDonnell asked.  “Imagine that, we’ll have a president who actually knows how to create jobs, and a vice president who actually knows what state he’s in.”

Like Ryan is sure to do Wednesday night, McDonnell spoke of his Irish roots.

“This election is about restoring the American Dream, the dream that led my grandfather, a poor farm boy, to leave Ireland 100 years ago and come to Ellis Island to begin his journey of freedom,” McDonnell said.

He also mentioned women specifically, an electorate Romney desperately needs to woo and a group he has had problems with.

“We need a president who will say to a small businesswoman: Congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that,” McDonnell said repeating the line that has become a GOP punching bag.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a fast-rising star in her party, immediately brought up Ronald Reagan in her speech, but quickly moved to where she came from: her home state of Oklahoma.

“The history of my state of Oklahoma offers a great example of pursuing the American Dream,” Fallin said.  “It was built and settled by pioneers moving West to seek better lives.  During the great Land Run of 1889, thousands of families rushed to put a stake down on empty plots of land.  They built tent cities overnight, they farmed the land, and they worked hard.”

And she didn’t stop there.  Fallin contrasted the early days of her state, which included drilling “Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone,” with the president’s environmental policies.

“President Obama wants us to believe that Oklahomans owe that success to the federal government: to the Department of Energy, to the EPA, the IRS or maybe even to him.  Mr. President, we know better.  As we say in Oklahoma, that dog won’t hunt,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul152012

Republican Governors’ Message To Mitt Romney: Don’t Let Obama Lead You Down The ‘Rabbit Hole’

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Fresh off his win in Wisconsin’s divisive recall election, GOP Gov. Scott Walker was full of advice for Mitt Romney.

“We had significant swing votes — independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me because they like someone who was willing to take on the tough issues facing our state,” Walker said. “I think those same sorts of voters are voters that Governor Romney at least has a shot with.”

But Walker, who was among the dozens of governors who gathered at this weekend’s National Governors Association Conference in central Virginia, warned that a win in his Midwestern battleground would not be a slam dunk for Romney.

“Coming into Wisconsin, coming into Iowa, coming into other states like that, for him to do well the ‘R’ next to his name has to stand more than just for ‘Republican’ — it has to stand for reformer,” Walker said, adding: “If people view him as a reformer, willing to take on both the economic and fiscal crisis our nation faces, I think voters in swing states like Wisconsin will listen.”

When asked why voters in his state do not already view Romney as a reformer, Walker told reporters: “I think they don’t see a lot right now. I think they need to see more of him.”

“They’d also like to hear what he’s going to do to tackle the fiscal crisis our country’s facing,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “The more times he comes to Wisconsin, the more times he comes to swing states like ours and lays that message out the better off we’ll be.”

Walker was one of several Republican governors who dispensed advice for his party’s presidential standard-bearer this weekend. He encouraged Romney to “be most aggressive about” pointing out that President Obama “doesn’t have a record to run on.”

“If I’m Governor Romney,” Walker said, “I keep coming back to saying, ‘Mr. President, defend your record and lay out what you’re going to do for the future’ and keep coming back to what I think most people want to hear, which is, what are you going to do?”

But after a week when the vitriol of the presidential race spiked as both sides accused the other of peddling lies and distortions, another swing-state governor, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, cautioned Romney not to let the Obama campaign set the terms of the debate.

“Mitt Romney can’t — he’s not going to — respond to every single lame attack that the Obama administration makes,” McDonnell said in interview with ABC News. “If he starts to run down every rabbit hole the Obama administration wants to take him, we’re going to be off the message.”

McDonnell, whose state is likely to see some of the most intense trench warfare of the campaign, predicted that “voters are going to vote — especially the independents – -they’re going to vote on jobs, on spending, on energy and leadership.”

In May, McDonnell conceded that Obama’s team had a better campaign infrastructure in place in Virginia than Romney.

“The ground game’s not there yet,” McDonnell said in an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner.

Two months later, McDonnell, who runs a state that then candidate Barack Obama won by about six percentage points four years ago, said he’s seen a vast improvement.

“We’re there,” McDonnell said of the Romney campaign’s organization in Virginia. “Mitt Romney’s personally made a commitment to come to Virginia on multiple occasions. You’ve seen him here on regular occasions. We’ve got great surrogates that are out there speaking for him, so we will not be outmatched on the ground or on the air.”

But in the part of the state where this weekend’s gathering of governors took place, television ads from both sides were already blanketing the airwaves. In new ads, the Obama campaign has been turning up the volume on their attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital as well as his offshore investments.

“All these attacks by the president and his campaign really, I think, speak volumes to the lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in an interview. ”I guess that is what I find amazing.”

In his state — another important battleground — Branstad said the Romney campaign was “doing really well considering the fact that Obama carried Iowa by a pretty substantial margin last time. The polls show they’re basically dead even.”

But at least one Republican governor expressed concern that Romney needed to do more to avoid the “distractions” caused by his opponent’s calls for him to release additional years of his tax returns.

In comments that drew instant attention, Gov. Robert Bentley, R-Ala., said on Saturday that Romney would be wise to “get them out and just get past that.”

“They’re doing everything they can to hurt Governor Romney and tax returns will be one of those things,” Bentley told ABC News. “So the best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns.’”

Branstad disagreed: “You’ll never quiet those people that are attacking,” he said.

So did Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has emerged as one of country’s most controversial governors for her advocacy of the state’s tough immigration law.

“I think this is just a distraction that the Obama campaign is throwing out there,” she said. “I think Governor Romney has proven his worth. He is honest and he is upright and he has been successful.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., also dismissed this week’s attacks from the Obama campaign as “negative petty stuff” and advised Romney to offer voters “reassurance that he’s got the leadership talent” to be the next president.

“Campaigns can be very negative and ugly,” Fallin said in an interview with ABC News, and the key for Romney, she said, is “keeping focused on the main thing and that is families, their pocketbooks, economic issues.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Romney Rallies With Wisconsin GOP All-Stars

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(JANESVILLE, Wis.) -- Appearing with an all-star cast of Republican Wisconsinites, Mitt Romney today declared that despite what President Obama might think, Wisconsin will be in his win column this fall.

“I’ll tell you, I think President Obama had just put this in his column, he just assumed at the very beginning Wisconsin was going to be his,” Romney said, addressing a crowd of more than 500 at a fabric and textiles manufacturer.

“But you know what, we’re going to win Wisconsin,” he said. “We’re going to get the White House.”

Romney appeared today in the Badger State for the first time since the state’s Republican primary in April, and for the first time with Gov. Scott Walker, who won his recall election two weeks ago, the mood palpably buoyant as Republicans are still living off the adrenaline supplied by the victory.

Walker paid homage to his recent victory, telling the crowd, “It is my honor to still be the 45th governor of Wisconsin and it is my honor to be on the stage with the man I hope is the 45th president of these United States.”

The event was not void of a reference to whom might be chosen as Romney’s running mate: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is said to be on the shortlist and the event was held in the congressman’s hometown.

Dan Sinykin, the owner of the factory, joked in his introduction, “Gov. Romney, we are in congressman Ryan’s hometown, he is right here if you have an announcement to make.”

As the crowd erupted into cheers, Ryan shook his head from side to side.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun162012

GOP Address: Gov. Scott Walker Wants US 'Fiscal House on Track'

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- In this week's Republican address, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, fresh off of his recent victory over the effort to recall him as governor, calls for Washington lawmakers to get America's "fiscal house on track and … our economy back in order."

Walker says that while "Republicans define success … by how many people we can free from government dependence by growing the private sector," to him, "the President and many of his allies seem to measure success by how many people are dependent on government programs."

"Those policies have failed," he adds.

But Walker says that doesn't mean people should be thrown off of unemployment.  Instead, he says, created jobs for people in the private sector will free people from government dependence.

Walker says, "We can do it -- because we've done it before," recalling what he said was "one of the greatest economic booms in U.S. history" when reforms set in place during the Reagan presidency went into effect.

"We need that kind of bold leadership today …" he said, adding, that more "big government is not the answer as the President contends."

"Instead, we need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government, he says. "We need to think more about the next generation than we do about the next election."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun142012

Scott Walker: Romney Could Win Wisconsin, Needs Plan

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Gov. Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall election on June 5, political spectators began to argue that Wisconsin could be a potential pick-up state for Romney in the fall.  The Badger state’s Republican governor says he believes it’s possible -- but Romney will need more than just a party affiliation.

“He’s got a shot,” Walker told reporters in Washington, D.C., Thursday morning.  “He needs a clear plan.”

It’s not enough that both men are Republicans -- a simple association with him won’t be enough to win in the state, Walker says.  Instead, the man who earned the distinction of becoming the only governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election suggested that Romney needs to convey a simple and concise plan that voters know he can deliver on.

“I think it’s got to be narrowed down to a very simple set of messages,” Walker said.  “It’s not just a referendum on President Obama.  It’s also got to be ‘yes, I don’t think I’m better off than I was four years ago, I don’t think the economy is coming back…And I think candidate Romney has a plan that I believe in.”

Walker did not offer any specific recommendations for the content of said message set.  He did offer his thoughts on who he believes should join Romney on the GOP ticket: Congressman Paul Ryan.

A Republican presidential candidate has not won the state of Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984, but Walker noted that the margin of victory has been close in recent years.

“Wisconsin 2000, 2004, was the closest blue state in America,” Walker noted.

In 2000, Al Gore won by a margin of less than 1 percentage point, and in 2004 it was the same for John Kerry.  Obama swept the state in 2008 with a 14-point margin.  Walker described Obama’s margin of victory as “an anomaly.”

When asked about Obama’s lack of presence in Wisconsin in the days and weeks leading up to the recall election, Walker said he has heard a lot of frustration among Democrats in the state, but he wasn’t sure it would have made a difference.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun122012

Obama Video Says Romney Misread ‘Message of Wisconsin’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is redoubling its attack on Mitt Romney for comments he made last Friday about firefighters, cops and teachers, with a new Web video casting the former governor as “too extreme, even for Tea Party Governor Scott Walker.”

They have seized on comments made on Monday by Romney surrogate and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who in an interview on MSNBC defended Romney’s suggestion that the ranks of those public sector workers could be trimmed.

“If there’s fewer kids in the classroom, the taxpayers really do want to hear that there will be fewer teachers, absolutely,” Sununu said when asked about cuts.  “And people ought to stop jumping on it as a gaffe and understand there’s wisdom in the comment.”

Romney critiqued Obama last Friday during a campaign stop in Iowa, saying, “[The president] says he wants to hire more government workers.  He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.  Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?  The American people did.  It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Democrats have been hammering Romney for suggesting that the country does not need more teachers or first responders on the job.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a recall vote last week, told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that the message of his election was not exactly what Romney seemed to suggest.

“Do you think Governor Romney is talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen?” asked anchor Bob Schieffer.

“No,” Walker said, adding, “I think, in the end, the big issue is that the private sector still needs more help, and the answer is not more big government.  I know, in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers.  That’s not what I think of when I think of big government."

“I think of the bigger sense is more government regulations, more stimulus, more things that take money out of the private sector and put it in the hands of the government,” he said.  “That’s not the answer out there.”

Walker’s comment about Wisconsin’s exemption of firefighters, cops and teachers from cuts is featured in the new Obama Web ad.

The Romney campaign says it believes that federal aid to states for public sector hiring, which Obama advocates, is not a prescription for sustainable job creation and that expanding the ranks of government inhibits growth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun062012

Exclusive: Scott Walker Says Romney Still Underdog in Wisconsin

ABC News(MADISON, Wis.) -- Republicans scored a big victory in Wisconsin Tuesday, but Gov. Scott Walker says there is “no doubt” Mitt Romney is still the underdog in his state when it comes to the presidential election.

“I mean the president having grown up just across the way in Chicago gives him a certain advantage, at least geographically,” Walker said in interview with ABC News.  “But I still think we are a very competitive state.”

Walker also has some advice for Romney:  Lay out specific plans for how he would deal with the federal budget crisis and be honest with the tough choices that need to be made.

“What it boils down to is can Governor Romney talk about a clear strategy to get the country moving forward to take on the tough economic and fiscal crisis this country faces?” Walker said.  “If he can lay that plan out clearly, I think voters in Wisconsin will at least give him a shot.”

Even as he celebrates a big victory, Walker acknowledges that he would have handled his budget crisis differently if he had a chance to do it all over again.  For starters, he said, he would have explained to the public what he was going to do before doing it.

“My problem was I was so eager to fix it I didn’t talk about it. I just fixed it,” Walker said. “Most politicians talk about it but never fix it in the future. We have learned from this. We are going to both talk about, get people engaged, work on solutions together and then fix it.”

He says Romney should not make the same mistake.

“In Governor Romney’s case, I think the country is hungry,” he said. “You look at the responses to [Rep.] Paul Ryan’s [budget] plan; I think the country is hungry for leaders who are willing  to stand up and say it like it is and tell people what they are going to do and then mean it and … I think if the governor can really lay that out crystal clear to voters here in Wisconsin and across the country, I think he can be competitive.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun062012

VP Beat: GOP Govs Bask in Walker’s Wisconsin Win

Melina Mara/The Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- WALKER WIN BOOSTS RGA AND McDONNELL: As head of the Republican Governors Association, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell led the RGA’s efforts to support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s recall election, dispatching governors, whose names have also been floated as potential VP contenders, to campaign with him in Wisconsin and pouring millions of dollars into the race.  As the Washington Examiner notes, Walker’s win in Wisconsin gave McDonnell “bragging rights” over his DGA counterpart, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and served as a “a dress rehearsal for nearly a dozen gubernatorial contests this fall.”

JINDAL SAYS WALKER WIN IS BAD SIGN FOR DEMS: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who stumped for Walker last month, said Tuesday night that Walker’s win in a Democratic stronghold is a bad signal for President Obama’s chances in the fall and argued that Ohio and Michigan will now be tighter contests, the Washington Times reported. “A lot of the experts were predicting a late night in Milwaukee. Instead it looks like it’s going to be a late night in Chicago,” Jindal said on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.

WILL ROMNEY PICK A COMBATIVE VP? Mitt Romney’s campaign has unleashed aggressive attacks on President Obama since the start of the general election, and as The Hill’s Christian Heinze noted, this combative style might push Romney to select a running mate with attack dog qualities. “Romney’s combative first month could hint that he’s looking to another archetype for vice president – the pugilistic warrior who can go one on one with Joe Biden in a shouting match” Heinze wrote. “The theory goes like this: A vice president is traditionally called upon to deliver the toughest attacks, while the nominee takes the relative high road. But if Romney himself is batting the president around like a piñata, why would he pick someone more discreet, safe and mellow for vice president? In short, a more aggressive campaign might warrant a more aggressive pick that complements, rather than contradicts, Romney’s confrontational style.”

N.J. SHORTFALL INCREASES UNDER CHRISTIE:
  NJ.com reported revenues in New Jersey were down $50 million to $100 million after last month’s tax collections, according to the budget chief of the Office of Legal Services in New Jersey.  Gov. Chris Christie’s office claimed the shortfall was closer to $28.9 million.  But as NJ.com described, “the latest revenue numbers are pushing hard against Gov. Chris Christie’s claims of a ‘Jersey Comeback.’”

OHIO DEMS LAY OUT ATTACKS ON PORTMAN:  ABC News’ Gregory Simmons reports the Ohio Democratic Party Tuesday “unleashed a series of ‘fact checks’ that might otherwise pass as potential attack lines against Portman should he become Romney’s #2.”  These attack lines include his involvement in the run-up to the financial crisis, his reliance on outsourcing, his inconsistency on the auto rescue, his “radical, ideological views towards women,” and the fact that Portman is not well known among Ohio voters.  More here from the Ohio Dems.

McDONNELL APPROVAL RATING: A Quinnipiac poll released this morning found Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating in Virginia at 53 percent, a figure that matched his lowest approval rating in March.

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