Scott Walker's Trip to Iowa Sparks Presidential Talk

Friday, 24 May 2013 02:31 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker travelled to Iowa Thursday and made a fiery speech roasting the ideology of the Democrats and pushing for government reform, fueling speculation he's gearing up for a 2016 presidential run.

"One of the areas particularly at the state level but also the federal level we need to push on is what some people call entitlement reform," Walker told cheering conservatives at a GOP fundraiser in West Des Moines.

"I call it going from government dependence to true independence."

In a rousing 40-minute speech, Walker said Republicans must be more optimistic, relevant, and courageous, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

He tweaked the Democratic Party, saying its idea of success is "measuring the number of people who are dependent on government.

"We should measure success by how many people are not. Not because we pushed them out to the curb or on to the street but because we understand the true gift you can give to a citizen is not a handout, but a hand up," Walker said.

The location of Walker's speech is politically important because the Hawkeye State will kick off the 2016 presidential nominating season.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told the Journal Sentinel that Walker made the trip to Iowa at his request.

"He's kind of a folk hero among Republicans," said Branstad, referring to Walker's push to take on Wisconsin's unions and limit the ability of public workers to collectively bargain, which led to an attempt to recall him.

"He inherited a mess and he's turned it around. Despite all the abuse that he took, the people of Wisconsin returned him by a solid vote," Branstad said.

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