Conservative radio host Mark Levin is pushing back against the notion that governors are uniquely qualified to run for president, an opinion pushed by many Republican governors eyeing a 2016 race.
Some Republican governors believed to be running for president, although unannounced, insist that only governors know how to serve as president because they’ve actually run a state. So, they hope to re-define the qualifications for the presidency to exclude all other competition.
“That’s really stupid,” Levin said in a Facebook post, pointing out that Republican governors were trying to “re-define the qualifications for the presidency to exclude all other competition.”
In an interview with Breitbart News, Texas Governor Rick Perry said that the next president was not likely to be a Senator.
“If you’re in the Senate or if you’re in the House, you can give a speech and then go home. Governors can’t. We have to govern,” Perry said, adding, “And the president of the United States, historically, has had to operate that way, too; the ones that were successful.”
Other Republican governors such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have made similar remarks.
“To have any chance of electing a Republican president, there’s a bunch of things we need to do. But the first is to have a good bench of Republican candidates,” Christie said at a Chamber of Commerce event in October. “And I am convinced that the next president of the United States is going to be a governor—and needs to be.”
On Sunday, Walker asserted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “overall, I believe governors make much better presidents than members of Congress,” even though he would make an exception for his friend Rep. Paul Ryan.
But Levin pointed to successful non-governor presidents such as George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and Dwight Eisenhower to back up his argument.
He acknowledged that while Ronald Reagan was a governor and a great president there were plenty of “awful” presidents who were former governors such as Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.
“The point is that Republican governors are going to have to do much better than expect all of us to accept their self-serving definition of presidential qualifications; they’re actually going to have to tell us how their records justify us promoting them to the presidency, as will all other candidates,” Levin explained. “And I don’t care what political office they’ve held. If they’ve supported big-spending and big-government, and reject the constraints of constitutional government, they’re not qualified by any measure.”