Look, if unions want to send people to disrupt a Scott Walker speech, they should have learned by now that this is not a one-person job. Walker faced down thousands of protesters in Madison four years ago to pass Act 10, and union organizers who tried to remove him as Governor in 2012 and 2014. At the Iowa State Fair today, one heckler tried to derail Walker’s speech, but Walker scoffed and reminded others of his track record in dealing with intimidation attempts (via SooperMexican):
Scott Walker confronts protestor in front row at Soapbox pic.twitter.com/tgSMg1PeYN
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) August 17, 2015
Scott Walker’s team knows red meat when they see it, and posted the same exchange from a different angle:
It’s not the only red meat Team Walker tossed out to conservatives today. Walker went after Mitch McConnell in an interview on Glenn Beck’s show today, attempting to align himself with the anti-establishment grassroots fired up by Donald Trump:
Beck said Walker could’ve been “weasely” and tiptoed around the issue, but he had a clear answer when Beck asked: “Will you go so far as saying that there are people in the GOP that are part of the establishment, like Mitch McConnell, that are part of the problem?”
“Yes. I hear it all the time and I share that sentiment,” the Wisconsin governor said. “We were told if Republicans got the majority in the United States Senate, there would be a bill on the president’s desk to repeal Obamacare. It is August. Where is that bill? Where was that vote?”
The American people were also told that Congress would act to prevent illegal immigration, Walker said, but it was actually governors like himself who prevented President Barack Obama’s policy deferring the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.
“It’s not because the Congress, a Republican-led Congress, did anything to stop him from doing that,” Walker said. “This is where the frustration is. This is why non-elected candidates are surging in the polls.”
Walker seems to be the first of the top-tier Republicans to start taking some cues from Trump, besides Ted Cruz, who has been attacking McConnell and the “Washington Party” for the past two years and more. Rather than attacking Trump, which has proven pointless, or Trump’s voters, which is political suicide, Walker is picking up Trump’s anti-establishment theme. He’s in a near-perfect position to do so, but he’s been focusing on a more positive message up to now that highlights his record of fighting the Left. If the base wants him to fight the establishment instead, well, Walker wants people to know that won’t intimidate him either.
Chris Cillizza calls today’s exchange at the Iowa State Fair Walker’s “best 27 seconds” in the campaign:
Walker has struggled mightily to show passion on the campaign trail or the debate stage thus far in the race. To a certain extent he’s tried to embrace that vanilla-ness, but being “the boring guy” in the race — particularly a race currently being dominated by Donald Trump — has its limits.
Walker’s willingness to face down a protester while staying exactly on message is impressive. Walker’s great strength in the presidential race is that he has fought Democrats and won in Wisconsin. The I’ve-been-there-and-done-that message is a winner for Walker. The more he looks and sounds like a fighter, the better. A little passion can go a long way for Walker.
Watch the last 10 seconds or so of the clip above. The “this is what happened in Wisconsin” line is both a) very good and b) very well delivered.
It’s given him a perfect clip for a TV spot, certainly. And it might give Iowa Republicans a reason to give Walker a fresh look.