South Carolina Republicans who showed up in droves to size up Scott Walker over two days of events last week praised him as a scrappy competitor for the presidency, and many said he has the qualities they're looking for in a GOP nominee.
However, they admit they don't know much yet about the Wisconsin governor who is a front-runner in the presidential race, even though he hasn't announced his candidacy officially, reports The Washington Post
"He has guts," said rural Orangeburg County Republican Party Chairman Jim Ulmer. "The people of America are looking for another Ronald Reagan, someone we can believe in, someone who will keep freedom safe. Walker could be it."
Many of the South Carolinians who lined up to see Walker believe he's a tenacious fighter who won in his battles against the unions, and see him as a leader who tells the truth, a pure conservative and a fresh face for the future.
"He represents everything I want in a president," Joan Boyce, 61, a school cafeteria worker, said after seeing him speak at a barbecue dinner in Greenville. "He's refreshing for a change. He feels honest to me — he really does. He doesn't talk like a politician. He talks like a regular guy."
Many of those who talked to the Post said they have their doubts about Walker's main rival, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as they are concerned about his family dynasty. And none of them mentioned tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz
, who announced his GOP candidacy on Monday at Virginia's Liberty University.
And most of those turning out to see Walker aren't concerned about some of the questions that surround him, such as his change of positions on immigration and ethanol, and his lack of national security experience.
Instead, they see him as a fighter who won three elections, and say that's what the party needs if it expects to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Walker generally gives a set speech during his appearances, hitting the Republican agenda notes of pro-life laws, gun rights, lower taxes, and a stronger national defense, and shared the same stories at most of his stops about labor protesters, shopping for Kohl's discounts, and idolizing the Founding Fathers.
"It dawns on you," Walker said in Greenville, "these were ordinary people who did something quite extraordinary."
In the crowd, people nodded in agreement, with one calling him the "average American man" who is "capable of doing extraordinary things."
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