Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on a trade mission to the UK this week, but you probably won’t hear too much about it – unless it’s something specifically released by Walker’s camp.
His visit comes on the heels of what many have portrayed as a disastrous UK visit for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey just last week. Christie eventually shut out the media after a controversy involving remarks on vaccinations. Walker seems determined to not let something similar happen to him.
Daily Mail Online asked his press secretary, Laurel Patrick, about interview opportunities and press conferences; she said neither would occur.
“Unfortunately, the Governor’s schedule is extremely tight,” Patrick said, “so we will not be able to accommodate (you).”
Clearly Team Walker wants to portray the trip as strictly business. Christie and others have also taken hits for expensive trips abroad, some paid for by taxpayers, others by powerful friends. Patrick added, “This is an official trip and the purpose of the trade mission is to promote foreign direct investment in Wisconsin, so it is vital that we keep the Governor’s planned schedule.”
With almost every potential Republican nominee seen as light on foreign policy chops, Walker and others trying to beef up their resumes in this regard is just part of the process at this point. They can always refer back to the trips in the future when it matters. As the Daily Mail explains:
Other potential GOP presidential hopefuls have paid recent visits to London.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was there in January as part of a 10-day trade mission across Europe. He made news by pointing out that there are Muslim-dominated ‘no-go zones’ in England where police don’t keep law and order.
Then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio went last year.
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state who is the Democrats’ front-runner, had a London stop during her book tour in the summer of 2014.
The United Kingdom is Wisconsin’s sixth largest export market; the state sends nearly $700 million worth of products to Great Britain each year.
Wisconsin imported about $290 million in goods from the UK in 2013.
For now, Walker’s goal seems to be: do no harm.