Scott Walker pulled a Palin today on CBS’s Face the Nation, correcting former Governor Mitt Romney on the message of the Wisconsin win and then dissing the Republican Presidential nominee on his plan of making 2012 a referendum on Obama.
Transcript (Edited for length, and bolding added):
SCHIEFFER: Governor, thank you for being with us. You heard in the opening of the program that the president said that the private sector is fine.
Mitt Romney of course fired back immediately and used what happened out there in Wisconsin as part of his answer. I want to you listen to what he said here.
ROMNEY: Instead he(Obama) wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He (Obama) says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin, the American people did, it's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.
SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think Governor Romney is talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen?
WALKER: I know in my state our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers, and teachers. That's not what I think of when I think of big government.
SCHIEFFER: A lot of people — or some people at least in the Republican Party even are saying that he (Romney) needs to stand up more for things and not sort of try to be all things to all people.
WALKER: I just hope he takes a page out of President Reagan's playbook in 1980 where it was not only a referendum on the failed policies of President Carter at the time, it was also something where President Reagan laid out a clear plan.
SCHIEFFER: But you think he can do more along that line?
WALKER: Well, I think people like Paul Ryan and others and I hope that he goes big and he goes bold. I think he has got the capacity to do that. I don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on Barack Obama. I think it has got to be more.
SCHIEFFER: Is Wisconsin Romney country now?
WALKER: Well, I think it's up in the air. I think it's definitely in play. You know, six months ago I think the White House had it firmly in their column. I think it is up in the air.
But I think it's really very much left up not just to Republican or conservative voters, but to those swing voters who again elected me by a larger margin than they did two years ago to say, if Governor Romney can show that he has got clear plan, a plan to take on the kind of reforms we need to make America great again, particularly for our kids, I think that can win in Wisconsin and I think it can win in other swing states.
And Walker swings to the middle with a nice lecture to Mitt Romney on what national voters want, based on the local politics of Wisconsin. Well done, novice Walker.
Walker is obviously positioning himself for 2016 with his sharp, sudden turn to the middle from the far right cliff of promising campaign contributors he would turn Wisconsin red by union busting. Now he's claiming that going after police and firefighters is not part of the deal, and he's saying Romney has to have a plan beyond just "Obama bad".
The problem is that Romney does have a plan, and it's the same as Walker's, and Walker's has resulted in the worst job losses in the nation. This might be something the average voter would like to know more about.
Walker said that Romney has to stand for something, which indicates that Walker has been so busy with his recall and his investigations that he hasn't noticed Romney unable to stand up to Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, or even Ted Nugent. Expecting spine from Romney is probably not a great plan. Walker does outspine Romney by a long shot.
Scott Walker knows that polls showed his state going for Obama by a wide margin from the same voters who kept him in office. He knows which side his bread is buttered on, and he’s done alienating voters for now. He got himself lined up for 2016 with his “record” of union busting and now it's time to court the middle.
Walker is pulling a Palin on the GOP. They propped him up and saved his hide, supported him in a recall while the FBI is nosing around his business, and what does he do? He goes rogue to the middle for his own future. Romney even endorsed Walker to win during his recall, saying, "Govenor Walker is, in my opinion, an excellent Governor, and I believe that he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin, and to insist that those people who are working in the public sector unions have rights to effect their wages, but that these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them, and so I support the governor in his effort to reign in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years."
Nevermind that the bust up of the unions did nothing to impact the budget, and Walker admitted as much to Congress later, or that the unions were willing to concede major healthcare costs prior to Walker's assault on unions.
It’s hard to imagine the internal Republican response to Walker’s hubris. Mitt Romney must be shaking with outrage that a college drop out would dare to school a Harvard grad in public, but of course, given the current Republican base, Romney has his hands tied on that one. He can't afford to appear like a snob who cares about pedigree, but if anyone is buying that they haven't been paying attention (I have friends who own NASCAR).
Romney is a blue blood Republican, and Walker is fighting just like Palin did, with no clue about political savvy on a national level and no idea that the Tea Party rhetoric is just for show.
Behind closed doors, blue blood runs for office and gets the help. Scott Walkers and Sarah Palins get dumped on the curb after being used as attack dogs. We note that the Romney camp said they would not be "going Palin" with their VP pick.
The Republican Party never learns that once they’ve made a monster, it can’t be undone. Scott Walker believes all of the Republican hype about himself. He thinks he knows as much as Mitt Romney about politics. He doesn’t, but he sure knows how to read a poll.
This is something that is not done within the authoritarian, strict structure of the Republican Party. Mitt is supposed to look like a leader right now, and all of the players have their job in creating that illusion. Telling Mitt how to run or correcting him on what the win in Wisconsin meant is not included in that scenario.
It’s interesting that both Scott Walker and Sarah Palin faced ongoing investigations into their ethics, both had recall noises made against them for similar reasons, both take refuge in being political “Christians”, both are heroes to the Tea Party but out of step with the old guard Republicans who run the show, and both are national political novices with egos too large to help them see when they’re being used. I can’t see the Republican Party letting Scott Walker run for President, knowing what they know about his past and the John Doe investigation alone.
Hey, GOP, how do you like your little Palin in Wisconsin now?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.