— -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker compared the nation’s fight against ISIS with the thousands of protesters that came to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011, telling attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference today that he is equipped to take on the terrorist group because of his experience during those protests.
Walker said as governor he gets a “threat assessment” from the FBI and he has been “concerned about the threat” posed by ISIS and other terrorist groups, saying he wants a commander-in-chief who will “do everything in their power to ensure the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil," adding the country needs a “leader" with "confidence.”
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,” said Walker, wearing his sleeves rolled up, referring to his high-profile face-off with public-employee unions.
Walker aide Kirsten Kukowski issued a statement Thursday clarifying his earlier comments, saying: "Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces. He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created."
Walker focused on foreign policy during his CPAC speech in National Harbor, Maryland, with cheers from the crowd. His speech to the group of conservative activists was highly anticipated after his well-received speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit last month. Supporters chanted “Run, Scott, Run” at the end of his address.
“I’ve run three time in the last four years, so I’m getting pretty used to it,” he responded.
The Democratic National Committee also responded to Walker's comments with DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee saying in a statement, "If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting.”
ABC News' Greg Hughes contributed to this report.