And yes, that includes foreign policy, as were reminded again today:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) argued his fight with unions has prepared him to be commander-in-chief during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.This comes less than a week after that confab in New York at which Giuliani stole the show by attacking President Obama's patriotism -- Walker spoke there, too, and, as Larry Kudlow reported at National Review, he linked foreign policy to the union fight there as well:
"If I can take on 100,000 protestors I can do the same across the world," Walker said in response to a question about international terrorism.
... he frequently referred to his successful efforts in Wisconsin to curb public-union power as a means of lowering tax burdens, increasing economic growth, and reducing unemployment.As Heather noted at Crooks & Liars, when Walker went on Morning Joe last month and made the same assertion about the effect of the PATCO lockout on the Soviets, he got a "Pants on Fire" from PolitiFact Wisconsin. (Walker claimed that Soviet documents prove his point, but historians say no such documents exist.)
Noteworthy, Walker argued that when Reagan fired the PATCO air-traffic controllers over their illegal strike, he was sending a message of toughness to Democrats and unions at home as well as our Soviet enemies abroad. Similarly, Walker believes his stance against unions in Wisconsin would be a signal of toughness to Islamic jihadists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
That's his story and he's sticking to it.
The fight with the unions -- in particular, their reported mistreatment of him and his family -- is the bloody shirt Walker's going to wave all the way through the campaign, at every possible opportunity. As I told you last week, his current fight with private-sector unions over a right-to-work law led to protests at the house where his parents live -- a fact he was eager to exploit on Fox News. As I wrote then:
You have to remember that Walker treats reported attacks on family members by people opposed to his policies as one of his prime qualifications for office. He constantly refers to this; we're supposed to want to vote for him because his family has been attacked.In 2007, Joe Biden said of Giuliani, "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence -- a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There's nothing else! There's nothing else!" For Walker, it's a noun, a verb, and "union thugs."
Here's a Washington Times blog post from November 2013: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: 'I had a stack of death threats.'" Here's a story from the same period at Wisconsin Reporter: "‘Unintimidated:’ Gov. Scott Walker’s book details death threats during hostile time." Here's an account of a "tele-town hall" conducted by Walker earlier this month:
Walker talked about some of the death threats made against him by those who opposed his conservative reforms. One threatened to “gut my wife like a deer,” and another note said that if his wife didn’t stop him, he’d be “the first Wisconsin governor ever assassinated,” he said. The threats are part of the reason he’s “exploring that very real possibility of stepping up and providing a new level of leadership,” he said during the 30-minute call.This was shortly after Walker's speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit made him a serious contender for the GOP nomination; the death threats were a key part of that speech.
No one should ever threaten a politician with violence, much less a member of a politician's family. But Walker is acting as if he and his family are the only people in the history of American politics who've ever had to deal with this.
UPDATE: If you think Walker's remarks on ISIS were an embarrassing gaffe, and if you believe that the right general regards Walker as an embarrassment right now because Jim Geraghty of National Review wrote a post titled "Scott Walker's Awful Answer on ISIS," read Ed Kilgore's post "The Only Audience Scott Walker Cares About Right Now." Kilgore points out that Walker's speech went over like gangbusters on the right (post from Geraghty's NR colleague Andrew Johnson: "“Walker Thrills a Packed House at CPAC”) -- and in the center as well. Kilgore:
... even Mark Halperin, who has probably wagered the profits from his next Ultra-Insider book on a Jeb Bush nomination, gave Walker’s speech an letter-grade score of “A,” his highest for the seven major CPAC speakers on Thursday.I'll add that they loved Walker's speech at Fox.