It only took one foreign policy question on ABC’s This Week for Gov. Scott Walker’s potential 2016 presidential campaign to fall completely apart.
RADDATZ: Let’s talk about some specific, and you talk about leadership and you talk about big, bold, fresh ideas. What is your big, bold, fresh idea in Syria?
WALKER: Well, I think – I go back to the red line.
RADDATZ: Let’s not go back. Let’s go forward. What is your big, bold idea in Syria?
WALKER: I think aggressively, we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world, because it’s not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil, or not if I should say, it’s when, and we need leadership that says clearly, not only amongst the United States but amongst our allies, that we’re willing to take appropriate action. I think it should be surgical.
RADDATZ: You don’t think 2,000 air strikes is taking it to ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
WALKER: I think we need to have an aggressive strategy anywhere around the world. I think it’s a mistake to –
RADDATZ: But what does that mean? I don’t know what aggressive strategy means. If we’re bombing and we’ve done 2,000 air strikes, what does an aggressive strategy mean in foreign policy?
WALKER: I think anywhere and everywhere, we have to be – go beyond just aggressive air strikes. We have to look at other surgical methods. And ultimately, we have to be prepared to put boots on the ground if that’s what it takes, because I think, you know–
RADDATZ: Boots on the ground in Syria? U.S. boots on the ground in Syria?
WALKER: I don’t think that is an immediate plan, but I think anywhere in the world–
RADDATZ: But you would not rule that out.
WALKER: I wouldn’t rule anything out. I think when you have the lives of Americans at stake and our freedom loving allies anywhere in the world, we have to be prepared to do things that don’t allow those measures, those attacks, those abuses to come to our shores.
Martha Raddatz pushed Scott Walker on foreign policy, and he completely fell apart. Walker went from being a what he called a leader with big, bold, fresh ideas to being another Republican with George W. Bush’s foreign policy. Someone also might want to tell Walker that meeting with Henry Kissinger and George Schultz is not the same as serving as Secretary of State.
Scott Walker can definitely rile up a crowd of Republicans in Iowa, but in terms of policies and ideas, the Wisconsin governor has got nothing new to offer. Walker’s implosion illustrates the problem that the Republicans are going to have in 2016. Republicans want to make 2016 a foreign policy election. They want to attack Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State. Their problem is that they don’t have a single candidate on their roster who has foreign policy experience.
Gov. Walker’s American boots on the ground anywhere in the world answer would lose him a presidential election. With this one answer, Scott Walker sabotaged his chances of being elected president in 2016. Walker was the first in what will be a long line of Republican presidential candidate flavors of the week. It only took eight days for Gov. Walker to deliver an answer during an interview that would make him unelectable in the fall of 2016.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association