Milwaukee — Scott Walker issued a warning to the GOP Tuesday morning, hours before his former presidential rivals take the debate stage here: The outsiders aren’t going away.
Speaking at a Wall Street Journal breakfast here, the former Republican candidate said he has witnessed up close the “anger” and “frustration” voters feel with politicians, and cautioned that the conventional wisdom about Donald Trump and Ben Carson fading as election season draws closer looks wrong.
“Many of the journalists here have been saying for months that a couple of the outsiders who were ahead in the polls were going to fizzle or fade away or be less significant. And we haven’t seen that yet,” Walker said. “So I think the sentiment people have is real.”
Walker attributed his own early surge in the polls to an outside-of-Washington profile, but said it was soon eclipsed by opponents with a more credible anti-establishment message.
“I was initially kind of appealing because I was the outsider. I was the guy not just an outsider as governor, I was the guy who took on the Washington liberal interests in the recall election and all those sorts of things — and then came along a few other people who were even bigger outsiders,” Walker said.
The governor added that Trump and Carson have been helped by the narrative of their imminent demise.
“I think the media feeds into it, in the sense that with Trump and Carson in particular . . . they say things and they get skewered by some in the media and they don’t back away,” Walker said. “And that sends a message to some voters, right or wrong, that these guys aren’t going to back down, they’re not going to be pushed around.”