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The Fall of Scott Walker

Wed, Sep. 16, 2015 Posted: 08:20 PM


Prior to entering the 2016 presidential race, and momentarily afterward, Scott Walker was considered to be one of the most promising Republican contenders for the White House. Popular with conservatives, Walker boasted a record of conservative reforms in Wisconsin. And, following the Iowa Freedom Summit, in January, Walker soared to the top of the polls and remained there for several months.

A couple months into the launch of his presidential campaign, however, Walker began plummeting in the polls. What led to his decline?

  • The Rise of Donald Trump - Walker’s poll numbers began to fall at the same time that Trump's began to rise. But, while other candidates were also negatively impacted by Trump’s rise in the polls, Walker fell the furthest.
  • The First GOP Debate - Walker failed to impress during the first GOP debate. It wasn’t so much what he said--it was his inability to stand out in the debate. Positioned right next to Trump, to many viewers he appeared overly cautious, with answers that sounded scripted and lacking in conviction.
  • Unclear Positions - For example, Walker recently came out in opposition to the US accepting more Syrian refugees. But, prior to that Walker had dismissed the issue as irrelevant because he's not the president.
  • Immigration - Walker has also been criticized for appearing to echo Trump in regard to supporting ending birthright citizenship, but later took “a total of three positions –- before concluding to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that 'no,' he isn’t calling for a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship. Then, in responding to a question from NBC’s Chuck Todd on the concept of building a wall on the northern U.S. border with Canada, Walker said it was a 'legitimate' issue worth reviewing. In the days that followed, Walker had to clarify his response and said that he wasn’t talking about building a wall but was instead referring to the idea of increased federal personnel to support local law enforcement along the northern border."

Yet, Walker’s most troubling downfall, in the eyes of many, is his wavering stance on abortion. When Scott Walker unveiled his health care policy, it was noted that the proposal was void of any mention of the words, “abortion”, “conscience” or “life.” This has been viewed as a major political misstep for Walker and has made some wonder if they can rest assured that “the new federal health tax credits he proposes will not be used to subsidize insurance plans that offer abortion coverage.”

Additionally, according to Gary Bauer, former presidential candidate and president of American Values, Walker has not been vociferous enough in his opposition to abortion. “On abortion in particular it appears that Walker has been intimidated, or at least somewhat cowed, by those who insist that Republicans should keep quiet.” he said. “These days, Walker’s position seems to be, ‘sure, I’m pro-life, but I’d rather not talk about it.’” Bauer also indicated that, in regard to abortion, Walker told The Christian Science Monitor last year: “I don’t focus on that; I don’t obsess with it.”

When the Planned Parenthood baby body part scandal came to light, however, Walker took that opportunity to announce: “Practices like this cannot be tolerated, which is why as governor, I defunded Planned Parenthood.”

But, did he actually defund it?

Pro-life group, ‪Wisconsin Family Action, posted the following on its Facebook page several weeks ago:

We think the Governor needs to refine his statement on defunding Planned Parenthood of WI. In the first budget he did, he and the state legislature redirected about $1 million per year of General Purpose Revenue that had for years been going mostly to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin [PPWI] and some to other so-called “family planning” centers in the state. Other subsequent efforts have been considered to stop other public funding streams but nothing significant has been done. Right now PPWI receives between $15 and $16 million of taxpayer money each year. We have LOTS of work to do before we can say that Planned Parenthood of WI is truly defunded.”

Another pro-life group, Missionaries to the Preborn, released this communication on August 21:

Missionaries to the Preborn: Milwaukee to participate in nationwide protest

8/21/2015

Contact: Jason Storms
414-462-3399

Governor Walker, Speaker Vos - End the lip service! DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD just like Texas did!

Missionaries to the Preborn to join in nationwide demonstration on Saturday, August 22nd, out on the street at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin headquarters, 302 N. Jackson St in Milwaukee from 11:30 am. to 1:00 pm.

Milwaukee is the site of a nationwide demonstration. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans in over 250 cities will take to the streets to demand that their states DEFUND Planned Parenthood of all tax-payer dollars. The release of sting videotapes showing the callous disregard for human life by Planned Parenthood representatives as they sell body parts of the murdered preborn to the highest bidder has shocked the nation.”

Scott Walker did cut funding to Planned Parenthood, but he did not completely defund it.

Just days before the second GOP debate, Walker rolled out robust proposals for national labor reform, which would result in “the most radical change to federal labor law in almost a century,” according to The Washington Examiner. And, while a lot can change between now and the GOP primaries and though Walker still has support in Iowa, even a monumental move like this is not likely enough to turn the tide for Scott Walker.

Candice Lanier