Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker brought his just-announced campaign for president to South Carolina Wednesday, visiting North Charleston, Lexington, and Mauldin. He spoke to a packed house at Hudson’s Smokehouse in Lexington just before lunch.
“In case you hadn’t heard, I’m Scott Walker. I’m running for president and I’m asking for your vote,” he told the cheering crowd.
He’s the 15th Republican to announce for the party’s nomination. He talked about his accomplishments as governor of Wisconsin, including taking on labor unions and winning.
“Since I’ve been governor, we’ve cut taxes by two billion dollars. We cut it on individuals, property, and employers,” he said.
He said his administration had also improved education, with graduation rates up, third grade reading scores higher, and ACT scores second highest in the nation. “Today in our state, people we elect at the local level to run our schools actually run our schools, ’cause we got rid of seniority and tenure. We can hire and fire who we want. We can pay based on performance. We can put the best and the brightest in our classrooms and keep them there,” he said. He also said he believes in higher standards, but believes they should be set at the local level and that he’s against Common Core standards.
South Carolina has the first primary in the South, which always attracts candidates hoping to get off to a good start. Walker said, “We’re going to keep coming back.”
When asked if he had or would consider South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as a potential running mate, especially since her stock has gone up after leading the state through the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds, he said, “I just announced this week, so it’s pretty premature to be talking about vice presidents. I’ve still got to put a lot of work in here in South Carolina and across the country to be able to earn the vote of the American people.”
But he said, “We’re going to make those decisions based on policy and based on capability. Certainly Nikki’s a friend of mine. She’s been a very capable governor and there’ll be a long list of people like her. But, again, like I said, it’s premature.”