The Rise and Rise Of Scott Walker

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • WALKER ON 2016: 'WE NEED A NAME FROM THE FUTURE': Fresh off a new Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of likely 2016 caucus-goers that showed Scott Walker leading a crowded field of potential GOP candidates in the Hawkeye State ( POLL:, the Wisconsin governor appeared exclusively on "This Week" yesterday with ABC's MARTHA RADDATZ. Here's an excerpt of their exchange:

RADDATZ: "Mitt Romney dropping out this week said, "I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders who may not be as well-known may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee." Is he talking about you?"

WALKER: "I think there's a whole number of people - I mean, folks like my friend Marco Rubio - I think fit that bill as well, but I think what he's heard is what I've heard across the country, is that people want new, fresh leadership with big, bold ideas, and the courage to act on it. And if we're going to take on a name from the past, which is likely to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I think for the party we need a name from the future."

RADDATZ: "But how do you stand out in that enormous field of GOP hopefuls?"

WALKER: "You can give speeches all you want, but I think what we have is not only amongst Republican voters, but in our state, even with independents, people want people to lead. They don't need to agree with you 100 percent of the time on every issue, but they are so sick and tired of politicians in both parties, particularly in Washington, who say one thing on the campaign trail and do something else. I think those 100,000 protesters four years ago who came in and around our capitol showed, if we think we're doing the right thing for the people, it doesn't matter what the intimidation factor is. We'll stand up and stand up for them." TRANSCRIPT:

  • AND DON'T GET HIM STARTED ABOUT WASHINGTON: Speaking last Friday just a block away from the White House at the offices of the conservative American Action Network, Walker wanted to make sure his audience was aware: He's not from Washington, ABC's ALI WEINBERG reports. "68 square miles surrounded by reality," is how he described the district, playing on a phrase that has also been used to describe the capital city of Madison where Walker now works.
  • ANALYSIS FROM ABC's RICK KLEIN: Can you stay "bold" and "fresh" for an entire year? That's not the script from a rejected Super Bowl ad, provocative as the concept might be to Nationwide or the toe fungus people. It's the challenge facing Gov. Scott Walker now, who's coming off a whirlwind week propelled by a strong reception in Iowa and a high-profile dropout that reshapes establishment calculations. Then came an even stronger poll result: Walker, R-Wisconsin, is leading a fractured GOP caucus field in the new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being the flavor of the week - except that there are 52 weeks before Iowa. It's a particular challenge for a man who is building his all-but-certain candidacy on the idea of being new and looking forward. "I wouldn't bet against me on anything," Walker told ABC's Martha Raddatz on "This Week" Sunday. Walker's problem for now is that the odds aren't static. The warning that doesn't come on the glitzy ad: Being a frontrunner can be dangerous to a candidacy's health.
  • FLASHBACK - WALKER ON THE IDEAL 2016 CANDIDATE: During a 2013 interview with ABC's JONATHAN KARL for "This Week," Walker had this to say when asked to describe the "ideal Republican presidential candidate in 2016?: "I think it's got to be an outsider. I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward." During the interview, Karl asked the governor specifically about other potential 2016 aspirants, Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. "All good guys, but … it's got to be somebody who's viewed as being exceptionally removed from Washington," the Wisconsin governor said. WATCH KARL'S BRIEF HISTORY OF WALKER'S RISE:



WALKER WOULDN'T RULE OUT U.S. BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN SYRIA. Walker said yesterday that he wouldn't rule out putting U.S. boots on the ground in Syria if he were the commander-in-chief, ABC's JESSICA PUCKETT reports. "We have to be - go beyond just aggressive air strikes. We have to look at other surgical methods. And ultimately, we have to be prepared to put boots on the ground if that's what it takes," Walker told ABC'S MARTHA RADDATZ. "I don't think that's an immediate plan. … I wouldn't rule anything out," Walker said. "I think when you have the lives of Americans at stake and our freedom loving allies anywhere in the world, we have to be prepared to do things that don't allow those measures, those attacks, those abuses to come to our shores." Walker also said the United States should "aggressively" take the fight to ISIS to prevent a potential attack on the U.S. "I think aggressively, we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world, because it's not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil, or not if I should say, it's when, and we need leadership that says clearly, not only amongst the United States but amongst our allies, that we're willing to take appropriate action," he said.

-WALKER ON CLINTON: Asked if he was 99 percent sure he'd end up making a bid for the White House, Walker responded, "I don't know that I'd take the odds. I'll just tell you one thing. After three elections for governor in four years in a state that hasn't gone Republican since 1984 for president, I wouldn't bet against me on anything." Walker also sought to contrast himself with Hillary Clinton, widely considered the likely favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, pitching himself as a new face and a Washington outsider. "I think former Secretary of State Clinton embodies all the things that we think of Washington," he said. "She lives here, she's worked here, she's been part of the Washington structure for years."

-BYE, BYE MITT. The "This Week" roundtable tackle Mitt Romney's decision to not run in 2016, Scott Walker's move to the top of the GOP field, and Hillary Clinton's 2016 timeline. WATCH:


HOW A MAN WITH ONLY ONE SUIT IS REBOOTING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. After eight years working for Google in Silicon Valley, Mikey Dickerson got comfortable wearing a T-shirt and jeans to work. So, when he took a top White House job last year, he saw no reason to change wardrobes. "I have exactly one suit," Dickerson told ABC's JONATHAN KARL, host of "Politics Confidential," in the White House Executive Office Building, dressed in a casual button-up shirt and pants for the occasion. "I put it on when I know I'm going to see the president." Dickerson leads a newly created agency within the executive branch called the U.S. Digital Service. But he's more commonly known as "the guy who fixed"


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