WOODBRIDGE, Virginia — In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News inside the Prince William County GOP headquarters, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that if he’s nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate in 2016 he can beat either former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden in a general election.
“To me, if Joe Biden gets in, he doesn’t face some of the same scandals that she faces, but ultimately one of the strengths I bring to the table against either Clinton or Biden is that Americans want a new fresh face not a name from the past,” Walker said when asked about his thoughts on Clinton’s weaknesses due to scandal and whether Biden should get in the race.
“Clinton and Biden both are names from the past. Americans want somebody from outside Washington who’s willing to take on Washington,” Walker continued.
Clinton and Biden both embody everything that’s wrong with Washington. I think Americans, more than anything, want someone who’s actually gotten something done. Neither of them can point to much of anything other than years of being in public life. I think that’s where we offer contrast to either one of them. We’re ready, whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, we can take them.
Walker, in his speech a while before the interview, lit into Clinton saying that the email scandal that has plagued her since the House Benghazi Select Committee uncovered that she used a home-brew private server to conduct email during her time as the nation’s top diplomat should mean she is “disqualified” from being president of the United States. When asked to explain that, he said it’s not political. He told Breitbart News that her actions put America’s national security at risk.
“I think just on its merits, put aside the politics of it, what makes her disqualified is it’s all about national security not just the emails,” Walker said.
She either knowingly allowed top secret and classified information to be transmitted over an email system that wasn’t secure, which puts her in violation of the law, or despite the claim she made—in a very condescending way—told many a reporter that she absolutely knew what top secret information meant. She either doesn’t know what it is, which makes her incompetent since she was Secretary of State, or she does and she committed a violation of the law which makes her illegal. Either way, I think that either of those two things disqualify her from being president of the United States.
Earlier in the exclusive Breitbart News interview, Walker laid out what his vision for America’s foreign policy should be if he’s elected president—the “Walker doctrine” so to speak—which represents a clear contrast between him and many other GOP candidates in the race on various sides of the issue.
“For us it would be not only about us leading but really saying we’re going to engage from a military standpoint only when our national security is at risk,” Walker said when asked by Breitbart News to expand upon what he laid out at the Citadel in South Carolina last week.
National security is obviously securing the homeland, going after terrorists abroad who have made it clear they’re coming to us so we’ll take it to them, standing up with our allies like Israel and protecting places where Americans trade or travel. So it’s not as far as some who say we should be the world’s policemen, involved in nation-building, I’m not going to use the military for that. But on the other hand, I’m not going to go to the other extreme where you’ve got some who say you should only be engaged when people approach our shores. That’s really, I think one, just having a policy, which I don’t think we have under this president—I think it’s a bit of a hodgepodge—but being clear about that in which America leads again. We show the world we’re not intimidated, and part of it means a military capacity, meaning a stronger than we have today, to hopefully not go into war but to avoid it by showing we’re strong enough to engage if needed.
The 2016 election, Walker like many other conservatives believes, is an all-important election with strong correlations to the 1980 election. There’s a primary in which conservatives are fighting against the GOP establishment—similar to Ronald Reagan’s battle against George H.W. Bush—and there’s going to be a general election which will likely serve as a referendum on President Obama’s liberal policies whether it’s Clinton or Biden who wins the Democratic nomination, much like Reagan’s battle with Jimmy Carter. Walker told Breitbart News that conservatives should coalesce behind him like they did behind Reagan because he is “tested” as a leader.
“If you’re conservative, now is not the time to be behind a leader that is not tested,” Walker said.
What many of the other conservatives say are things that parallel what I say so there’s not a huge amount of difference among us on some of the issues although I, for example, on like Obamacare have laid out a very specific plan—and we’ll lay out more in the future—but what makes me different from any of these other candidates is I’ve actually done it. I’ll give you a good example: We talk about defunding Planned Parenthood. I did that four years ago, and only two other governors have done it. One is in a red state, the other is in a purple state. I’m in a blue state. I did it in a heavily Democratic state while all of these other things are going on. I defunded Planned Parenthood.
None of these other candidates who are talking about defunding Planned Parenthood even mentioned that years ago. So, to me, it’s a prime example of don’t just watch what people say. Watch what they have done and how effective they have been at getting it done. I think one of the biggest frustrations for conservatives is there have been a lot of candidates who have run as conservatives. There haven’t been a lot of candidates who have run as conservatives then governed as conservatives. I’m one of the few in this race who can say I didn’t just run, I governed and I did it in a blue state.
It’s one thing to be a conservative in a red state. I did it in a blue state. If anybody’s suspect about, “well will things change when you get into office,” I say “just look at my record. Every common sense conservative reform you think of or even imagine, we’ve led the way in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans.”
One of the clearest contrasts between Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush comes right here in Virginia, where Bush hired disgraced former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a campaign aide for him while Walker has conservative state Sen. Mark Obenshain on his team. Cantor is only Majority Leader in the history of the United States to lose a primary election, proving just how unpopular he truly is.
Well, for us, at least, it shows a real commitment to the grassroots—not only in terms of campaigns and grassroots conservatives, the values we share and have. Not only being here with Mark, but that same year I was literally out standing underneath that same canopy with Ken Cuccinelli—I’m one of the few Republicans in America who was brave enough to come campaign with him even at the end of the campaign because we want good conservatives in office out there,” Walker said when asked about that contrast. “I hope that kind of shows my overall point that talk is cheap in politics. We don’t just talk about. Our actions, our deeds follow our words whether it’s in elected office or in terms of how we campaign or the people we put around us.
Asked whether hiring Cantor was a mistake for Bush—and big picture wise whether Bush is failing to gain traction—Walker said he’d rather stick to the issues but he will draw contrasts with Bush on issues. He has done that recently on Iran, for instance, where Walker supports gutting the president’s nuclear deal on day one if elected president while Bush wouldn’t do that.
“I’ll leave that to the pundits,” Walker said.
I’m one of the few that’s abided by Reagan’s 11th Commandment. I’ll talk about policy differences, but on politics—the personal stuff—I’ll leave that up to the pundits. I’ll talk about why Mark, and Jerry Kilgore and other good conservatives are helping us out and it’s because we’ve got a commitment to the grassroots. These are people that I admire the stuff that they’ve done here in the Commonwealth, and they’re people that I think are going to help us win this election.
Walker also said he believes he will be competitive nationwide, and that he is going to be in this thing for the long haul. He attributed the reason for that to his strength with grassroots leaders in places like here in Virginia.
“Absolutely,” Walker said when asked if he’ll be competitive in all 50 states.
“We’ve always thought the grassroots, early on when we first started thinking about this at the beginning of the year, we really thought that we would be about where we’re at today and we would not just have to make an appeal in all the early states in the primary and all the battleground states in the general election, but that our key was we’re one of the few candidates that’s acceptable to just about everyone,” Walker said.
Meaning, you can like Ted Cruz, you can like Rand Paul, you like Ben Carson and almost universally the data shows, ‘Yeah I like Scott Walker’ even if there’s another person that connects with one of those others. Eventually, when some candidates—maybe not those ones, but some others—start to fall out, we want to be the candidate of choice that the candidates move to. That’s been our strategy all along with the grassroots. If you go out there, and people see you’re well organized and see you’ve got boots on the ground and they see that we’re true to our message—and we’re not just talking about things lately, we’re not Johnny-Come-Lately, we’ve actually done it—and then we can make a real appeal.