Tags: Trump Administration | Scott Walker | Grover Norquist | Scott Walker | conservative | business | presidential

Norquist: Conservative Biz. Leaders Brave Snow to Hear Walker's 2016 Plans

By    |   Sunday, 22 February 2015 11:17 AM

A Washington DC snowstorm and freezing temperatures on Saturday were not enough to discourage 55 conservative activists and business leaders from meeting Scott Walker and leaving convinced that the Wisconsin governor was sure to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

"With the weather and the fact this meeting was on a weekend, we expected 20 people — but 55 showed up," Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform told Newsmax shortly after the meeting concluded at his Washington DC office.

As to who these 55 were, under a promise of confidentiality, Norquist was not naming any names. But he did volunteer that the group included "conservative activists, trade association executives, business leaders, state legislators and at least one statewide elected official." (One clue to who that official was might be that the Republican state attorneys general were also meeting in Washington over the weekend).

According to Norquist, Walker spoke for about fifteen minutes"and focused mostly on his successes as governor" and then answered questions for nearly an hour.

The ATR president added that when Walker was citing his successful defiance of the unions as a credential for dealing with Putin, he was reminded of Ronald Reagan’s actions breaking the air traffic controllers' strike in 1981 and how that sent signals to Moscow and to Europe that"this was someone who meant business."

Norquist also told us that Walker strongly endorsed tougher border security measures and believed securing the border was"a national security issue."

Insisting that he has yet to endorse any candidate for ’16 and is neutral in the coming Republican contest, Norquist nevertheless reminded us he admired Walker for signing ATR’s signature no-tax pledge"and that as governor, he has kept the pledge. He said at the meeting that he has always been for reformist governors and against raising taxes to pay for past failures."

In recent weeks, there has been some critical observations from former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean,"Washington Post" columnist Ruth Marcus — both of whom are Yale alumnus —  and others on the left, critical of Walker not having a college degree. Norquist, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Business School, doesn’t think it’s an issue.

"When was the last time you or anyone was asked what college you went to and what your grade point average was?" he asked aloud,"I think the last time was when I got my first job right out of college. Look, if the purpose of college is to accomplish things in life, then Walker made exactly the right decision when he chose to take a job in his senior year [at Marquette University in Wisconsin].

"These criticisms sound as though they come from aristocrats and are irrelevant to the Uber generation, which wants more of a choice than simply the same taxi cabs they are getting. And how in touch are you if you all go to the same school and know the same people?"

As for how far Walker went at the Saturday meeting to becoming a full-fledged candidate for president, Norquist told us"He explained that he had to say 'I’m exploring a race' because of the legal requirements in terms of fund-raising and laying the groundwork for a candidacy. He didn’t give any date for an announcement of candidacy, but he did come close to saying: ‘I want to be president.’"

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.



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A Washington DC snowstorm and freezing temperatures on Saturday were not enough to discourage 55 conservative activists and business leaders from meeting Scott Walker and leaving convinced that the Wisconsin governor was sure to seek the Republican presidential nomination...
Grover Norquist, Scott Walker, conservative, business, presidential, run, college degree
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2015-17-22
Sunday, 22 February 2015 11:17 AM
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