Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is considered a potential GOP candidate for president in 2016, said Republicans need to concentrate on defeating Democrats and capturing the Senate in 2014, not attacking fellow Republicans.
Walker made his remarks during a Saturday radio appearance on the The Mike Huckabee Show.
In introducing Walker, Huckabee lauded him as a conservative who doesn’t “tear down” other Republicans.
Walker noted that his new book “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and A Nation’s Challenge” acknowledges Americans’ widespread frustration with the size and expansiveness of the federal government.
He said Republicans were able to implement “big bold reforms” in several Midwestern states including Wisconsin because they won governorships as well as legislatures enabling them to put a GOP “team in place.”
The situation in Washington was vastly different despite the efforts of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to push “true reform.” That’s because the Senate is controlled by the Democrats “and we still, unfortunately, for the next few years have a Democrat president,” the Wisconsin governor said.
Republican energies should be targeted, said Walker, “not on fighting Republicans” in House or Senate primaries but on overcoming Democrats in states like Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska.
This year’s November elections offer a real chance to win the Senate and determine the future of the country, he told Huckabee’s audience.
“We need to elect Republicans to those spots,” said Walker.
None of the Republicans’ achievements at the state level— Michigan’s right to work laws, for example— could have been accomplished had Republicans not pulled together and won both the governorship and the legislature.
“We were able to put a team into place” because of the support of the Republican establishment, grass roots activists and the tea party, who were united on the objective of putting “power back in the hands of the people.”
Without Republican unity “we would have had tremendous difficulties if not an outright barrier to that kind of reform,” said Walker.
“The real answer is to not to go out and attack Republicans who try to push reform in the House or to try to defeat them in primaries. It’s to go out and win those winnable elections for the United States Senate,” he said.
“Then, after that, if a year from now, Republicans hold the United States Senate and they hold the House, if at that point we can’t get things done, then I think its legitimate to hold people in our own party accountable,” Walker said.
Walker said 2014 is “that all-important year. We get the Senate back. Then, two years later, we elect a Republican president. And it’s not just about winning elections at that point, it’s about truly reforming the federal government, reining in the debt, reining in the deficit.”
With Republicans in-charge on Capitol Hill and at the White House, “putting the power back in the hands of the American people” is “something we can do.”
But, only, said Walker, if Republicans don’t meanwhile “splinter off” in “many different directions.”
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By Elliot Jager