Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took aim at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday and said that the GOP needs a "new, fresh leader" who can promote "bold ideas that come from outside of Washington," The Wall Street Journal reported
Pointing to Mrs. Clinton's long tenure in Washington, including her time as President Obama's secretary of state, Walker did not pull any punches.
"You look at everything people dislike about Washington, she embodies it," he said.
Speaking to a gathering of Republican leaders in Coronado, California, Walker did not mention any of his potential rivals for the party's 2016 presidential nomination. But many interpreted his remarks Thursday evening as an effort to draw a contrast with the competition, which could range from establishment figures such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney to freshman Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas); Rand Paul (Kentucky); and Mario Rubio (Florida).
Walker has, however, been sharply critical of Romney. In his 2013 book, Walker criticized the former Massachusetts governor for allowing Obama to portray him as being out of touch. Before his speech in California Thursday night, he said it would be a mistake for Republicans to select a nominee who is open to such criticism.
Romney, Walker said, is a good man and "would have been a good president." But it is "pretty hard to make an argument about going forward when you're arguing about people and ideas from the past
," Walker added.
Walker portrayed himself as a conservative who had triumphed despite a constant stream of attacks and special-interest money from outside Wisconsin. He was elected governor in 2010, survived a recall election in 2012, and was re-elected in November in a state that had long leaned Democrat (and which Obama carried in both the 2008 and 2012 elections).
Organized labor – and in particular, public employee unions – attacked him because he sought to limit their power. Walker, as the National Review puts it, was successful in pushing reforms
that "broke the stranglehold" of powerful public-sector employee unions over the state's finances.
Thursday night in California, Walker joked about his political survival skills.
"I actually like the campaign," he said. "I guess I should – three times in four years."
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