The Washington Post’s Robert Costa reports Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting. While there, he’ll also be meeting with Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and other influential Republicans in his circle.
While Costa references a media dust-up over comments by Rudy Giuliani when Walker met with him and others recently in New York City, Norquist has been generating controversial headlines of his own in recent days.
Walker’s visit with Norquist’s organization and its allies comes shortly after a Wednesday dinner in New York where he also bolstered his relationships with the GOP’s anti-tax wing.
That gathering has become a distraction for Walker. At the dinner, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani asserted that President Obama did not love America. Once those comments became public, a firestorm ensued.
How much of a distraction it actually was outside the Beltway media bubble is in dispute. However, when it comes to meeting with Norquist, that could potentially become an even larger distraction for Walker in so far as it impacts his appeal with the conservative grassroots base. One of those issues came to a head recently in a report by Breitbart News.
The other potential controversy involves Norquist’s lobbying effort on the part of immigration reform. Norquist’s general unpopularity with the GOP’s conservative base doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue for Walker. But given the way the amnesty debate is currently playing out, Walker’s own politics and those he aligns himself with will be in play as his campaign rolls out.
Grover Norquist is again lobbying for comprehensive amnesty legislation.
He will reportedly brief GOP lawmakers in Congress on Tuesday, arguing that the new GOP-led Congress has “an incredible opportunity” to pass amnesty legislation.
And next month, Norquist will push for amnesty legislation in Nebraska when he speaks at an “invitation-only reception.” According to a Lincoln Journal Star report, Norquist was invited “by a coalition of businesses, people, lawyers and interest groups” including the Nebraska Restaurant Association, the Nebraska Retail Federation, and The Progressive Voice of the Great Plains.
On February 1, Breitbart also reported on Walker’s position on amnesty:
Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) said supporting immigration reform “doesn’t mean amnesty.”
Walker said, “I think, for sure, we need to secure the border. We need the enforce the legal system. I’m not for amnesty. I’m not an advocate of the plans that have been pushed in Washington. And I think, should I become a candidate, because I’m not yet, it’s part of the exploratory process. We’re a country of balance. We’re a country of immigrants and laws. We can’t ignore the laws or the people that come in. Whether it’s Mexico or Central America.”