Tags: GOP2016 | Marco Rubio | Scott Walker | Ted Cruz | Marco Rubio | Scott Walker | bridge

Rubio and Walker Competing For 'Bridge' Candidate Spot

Rubio and Walker Competing For 'Bridge' Candidate Spot
(Ron Sachs/DPA/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 11:52 AM

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are competing for the spot as the "bridge" candidate that both moderate and conservative Republicans can support, Republican insiders say.

The two presidential hopefuls are clearly becoming revivals, Politico is reporting, and have already begun "taking regular, subtle but unmistakable, shots at one another."

For Walker, this is seen when he says that the Republican Party needs a candidate who is a Washington outsider, and when he recently said that President Barack Obama "shows as a first-term senator, [he] isn't prepared to lead, or at least not in the case of Barack Obama," according to CNN.

The Wisconsin Republican has also said that he has a preference for governors, who he says have to "make decisions" every day, "not just give speeches."

Walker was responding to comments Rubio had made in an interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board on April 25, when he talked about the foreign policy experience he gained while serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as his leadership experience from his days as Florida House speaker.

"I believe that I can take over on Day One as president, prepared to lead this country in the most crucial obligation the president faces, as commander in chief," Rubio said.

"Governors can certainly read about foreign policy, and take briefings and meet with experts, but there is no way they'll be ready on Day One to manage U.S. foreign policy," he added.

When Walker was asked about Rubio's comments, he replied, "I think he's questioned how Ronald Reagan was ready."

Two recent Iowa polls showed Walker leading Rubio in the first caucus state.

The Loras College survey showed Walker with 12.6 percent of the votes and Rubio with 10 percent, but the director of the poll noted that "Senator Marco Rubio is the story of our current poll" after he "received a bump from his recent official campaign kick-off."

A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday showed Walker with 23 percent of the vote and Rubio with 13 percent, but the group reported that both Rubio and Walker are tied "for being the most frequent second choice of voters."

Public Policy Polling President Dean Debnam said that "in 2012 there was always a tension for Republican voters between getting a conservative enough candidate and getting one they thought could beat Barack Obama. At least in Iowa they seem to think Scott Walker is the guy who can check off both of those boxes."

Rubio and Walker come from very different backgrounds — Walker, 47, grew up in Iowa, a pastor's son. Rubio, 43, was born to Cuban immigrants and went on to marry a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. And they both differ on some issues.

But Politico said that there is a group of voters that reject an establishment candidate like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but worry about the electability of strong conservative Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Bob Brownell, an Iowa county supervisor, says either Rubio or Walker would be the best choice to run against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"I don’t know how we characterize our opponent as a relic of the 20th century and then nominate a relic of the 20th century," Brownell said.

"It’s got to be Rubio or Walker in my mind. Walker has that executive experience; Marco doesn’t have that, but what he does have is a 21st century perspective," he added.

However, Brownell said that he's undecided about who he will support for the nomination in 2016.

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are competing for the spot as the "bridge" candidate that both moderate and conservative Republicans can support, Republican insiders say.
Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, bridge, Iowa, governor
Friday, 01 May 2015 11:52 AM
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