The Corner

Reince Priebus: GOP Needs People Like Scott Walker

Has Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus decided to support Governor Scott Walker (R., Wis.) in a presidential campaign?

Priebus descried Walker as the kind of candidate who has the qualities the Republican Party needs.

“People used to ask me all the time [ when] I was the chairman of the state of Wisconsin a few years ago of the Republican Party need? What does this party need? And I’d say, you know, it’s really simple: we need people of their word who make a promise and then go govern like they campaigned,” Priebus told conservative activists at the 2014 RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas. 

“Do you want to know why my buddy Scott Walker is so popular?” he continued. “Because he did something really simple. He made a simple promise and he kept it. What a novel idea, that you would make a promise, you would get elected, and then you would go govern like you campaigned.”

Priebus also touted Walker to reporters at CPAC in March. “We’ve become a party that has a hard time losing midterms but a hard time winning presidentials,” Priebus said, citing Mitt Romney’s defeat in Wisconsin despite receiving a near-record number of votes in the state. “He pretty much got killed. And four months earlier, Scott Walker pretty much killed his opponent, but did it with 600,000 fewer votes. So why is that? What’s going on? And I have to tell you, I think it has to do with No. 1, who do you want to have a beer with on the ballot, and No. 2, who is turning out low-propensity voters and how do you change that.”

Such praise for his home-state governor is unremarkable except that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin, is also regard as a potential contender for the Republican nomination in 2016.

Priebus wouldn’t say in March if he had chosen between the Walker and Ryan. “The three of us are very close friends,” he said when asked. “My own view is, I see one or the other [running], I don’t see both.”


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