Gov. Scott Walker’s speech in Iowa shared his connections to Iowa - he lived there for a few years as a child - and his experiences as Wisconsin governor.
Walker spoke in Iowa’s state capital at a fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. More than 800 Republican supporters heard Walker give suggestions for how Republicans could continue to win in future elections, a sign to some that he may be interested in a higher office himself.
“I think we need to be more optimistic, speak in terms more relevant and I think we need to be more courageous,” said Walker. “Optimism, relevance and courage, I think, are the three keys to success in 2014, 2016 and beyond.”
In those themes the governor talked about his collective bargaining bill as well as efforts as recently as this week approved in his budget to reform food stamp laws in the state saying he was trying to make people less dependent on the government.
The crowd, some whom said they would like to see the governor run for president in a future election, listened to Walker talk about why the GOP lost the presidency.
“I think it is critically important that we look at future elections and say we can’t win an election just on a referendum on our opposition,” said Walker. “I’m not going to dissect the presidential election but I argued till I was almost without a voice you can’t win just by having a referendum on the failures of the president. You have to offer a positive alternative. I think that’s true in other races as well.”
Iowa and Wisconsin liberal groups see a potential Walker run for president as anything but positive, calling governors in both states failures.
“We know we have seen people in this state who think they can do the job and today we’re talking about two who have proven they can’t,” says Ken D. Sagar, Iowa AFL-CIO president.
Despite his critics the question many will be asking now is whether the governor is walking off the stage and into presidential politics.
“I think he might do well, he’s a Midwesterner, a problem solver, he’s a grassroots, down-to-earth guy that I think the kind of people in Iowa like,” says Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
The governor as recently as this morning told reporters in Wisconsin he hadn’t considered running for president and wouldn’t even announce if he’d run for reelection in 2014, saying he’s completely focused on finishing this current term.
“Well it’s really something that I haven’t given much consideration to,” said Walker. “I love my job. I had to work really hard, twice, over the last couple of years to become governor. I’m focused on that each and every day.”