CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—During his 99 county campaign tour through the Hawkeye state, GOP presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) name-dropped here and there, as he spoke about reforming Washington.
The name-dropping appeared to work—as the crowd cheered and laughed at Walker’s stories about his childhood growing up in the Midwest.
He recalled his first job was washing dishes but then joked he got a promotion in high school to flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.
“In fact, some of you may have heard of this guy before – my friend Paul Ryan was flipping hamburgers in Janesville, when I was flipping hamburgers in Delavan,” Walker said.
While the crowd laughed this time, Walker might want to be cautious about associating too closely with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), as he lost the 2012 election as the running mate to the GOP nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Critics have also argued Ryan has frequently and systematically misled Republicans on everything from immigration to trade. Ryan has been one of the architects of attempting to push Republicans toward amnesty—which Walker now says he doesn’t support—and he helped lead the effort to push Obamatrade through Congress earlier this year.
The grandson of long-time Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)—Iowa State Rep. Pat Grassley—introduced Walker at the event in Cedar Falls Sunday afternoon.
Walker told him he “certainly should be proud of” the Grassley name, as Grassley has been representing Iowa since 1981.
Walker told the audience he was born in Colorado Springs, then his father was called to be the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Plainfield, Iowa.
“And you know who my Representative was? I had a state representative by the name of Grassley.” The crowd laughed.
“To this day every time my dad sees him on TV he says, ‘now that’s an honest man,’” Walker recalled, saying how Grassley came out to speak to the small town that, at the time, had roughly only 400 people, but he had promised he would visit.
“We’re going to do all 99 counties in the state of Iowa. We know for Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst… we know how important it is to get to all 99 counties.”
“We’re committed to being here,” Walker vowed.
Walker’s campaign is calling his sweep through Iowa the “Full Grassley,” where aboard a Winnebago with his family in tow, Walker will visit all 99 counties over the upcoming months.
Walker talked about a photograph of him as a child with the Iowa State flag and said that, as a child, he raised money for that flag to fly over the city hall in his small town, because it only had an American flag flying—not the Iowa flag.
“I thought that wasn’t right,” he explained.
“Only mom saves pictures like this,” he joked about his mother saving the photograph of his accomplishment.
“These are kind of the roots you get growing up here in the Midwest,” Walker charmed.
He compared his ability to raise money for the state flag as a child to what he did once he took on the blue state of Wisconsin, saying his approach is to “go out and get the job done and get back to work.”
“As challenging as times are today… I believe it’s not too late to turn things around,” Walker stated. “We need fresh leadership,” he added, saying the leadership should come from outside of Washington.
“We didn’t just win the elections… we won the battles as well,” Walker said about how he has transformed a Democratic state.
“We cut our taxes by two billion dollars,” he said.
Walker also passed pro-life legislation, defunded Planned Parenthood, passed regulatory reform, passed Castle Doctrine, and passed conceal carry in his state.
Wisconsin now—because of Walker’s leadership—requires a photo ID for people to vote.
“How about that folks,” Walker touted to the crowd when they cheered the photo ID requirement.
“Imagine what we can do and make it work of America,” he campaigned.
“I think Americans want to vote for something and for someone,” he said, instead of talking about what they are against.
“I’m for reform, I’m for growth, I’m for safety.” Walker said, explaining he wants to reform Washington by taking the power away from the politicians and sending it back to the states and to the people.
He said that he is for a pro-growth economy and that the federal regulations must be reigned in because they are “like a wet blanket on the nation’s economy.”
As president, Walker said, “I will terminate the bad deal with Iran.” He also added he supports repealing and replacing Obamacare. On education, Walker said, “I trust parents to make the right decision for their children.”
“If you work hard and you’re playing by the rules… you can … be anything you want – that’s the American dream and that is worth fighting for,” Walker told the audience.