Some of the post-mortems on Walker’s campaign point to his reported skepticism of legal immigration levels as a mark of how much he was willing to pander. WaPo editorial writer Stephen Stromberg wrote that Walker “attempted to cover for previously moderate statements on immigration by clumsily lurching right, even seeming to suggest that there should be fewer legal immigrants.” (Emphasis in the original.) Allahpundit at Hot Air wrote that “Walker took a hardline stance too, not just on illegals but on reducing legal immigration to protect American wages,” adding the question: “Why did it work for Trump but not for Walker?”
I think part of the reason is that Walker never went through with actually calling for reduced legal immigration. If you’re going to pander, follow through. But he merely hinted, repeating a formula he unveiled in April: “a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages.” In that same interview with Glenn Beck he dropped Senator Sessions’s name, reinforcing the impression that he agreed with the nation’s leading critic of mass legal immigration.
The unlimited-immigration crowd, both left and right, went bananas, of course. But Walker never went on to specify what, if anything, his formula meant in concrete terms.