Fresh off a first-place finish in a Des Moines Register poll, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sounded ready to pick up the mantle as GOP frontrunner.
Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week,"
Walker was quick to latch onto 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney's assessment that the 2016 party nominee would be someone who has yet to carry his message across the country.
"If we're going to take on a name from the past, which is likely to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I think for the party we need a name for the future," Walker told ABC.
He contrasted that with Clinton, whom he called a candidate of the 20th century, not the 21st century.
Clinton, he said, "embodies all the things that we think of Washington: She lives here, she's worked here, she's been a part of the Washington structure for years."
Washington has a top-down government-knows-best attitude that regular Americans reject, he said, adding, "I don't think they want government telling them what to do."
He reiterated that he sees himself as the candidate who can appeal not only to Republicans, but to independents and working-class voters alike.
"You can give speeches all you want," Walker said. "People want people who lead. They don't need to agree with you 100 percent of the time on every issue."
Walker also defended himself against what many perceived to be a slight against those such as himself who are current or former governors.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said a week ago that "a governor with eyes on the presidency could acquire a global strategic vision, but taking trips to some foreign city for two days does not make you Henry Kissinger."
Walker countered that governors don't just take trips.
"As a governor, I've had risk-assessments given to me by the FBI and my adjutant general about threats not only in my state, but around the country," he said.
He blasted what he called the Obama administration's lack of strategy in fighting Islamic terrorists, saying he would aggressively take the fight to the Islamic State (ISIS) and any other radical Islamist group, because otherwise they will bring the fight to us eventually.
The 2,000 airstrikes that already have been used against ISIS are not enough, he said.
"Ultimately, we have to be prepared to put boots on the ground if that's what it takes," Walker said. He said he does not see American troops as an immediate need in Syria, but added, "I wouldn't rule anything out."
On immigration, Walker said he would secure the border and is not in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants. He did say, however, that he would not move to wide scale deportations of those already here.
He proposed a balance.
"We're a country both of immigrants and of laws. We can't ignore the laws in this country," he said. "We can't ignore the people who have come into this country, whether it's from Mexico or Central America …"
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