September 13th, 2015
10:18 AM ET

Gov Walker on SOTU: "When people are going after the men & women in uniform - it is the duty of the President to stand up & say something"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential candidate, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Gov. Scott Walker on State of the Union: Full Interview

Scott Walker: We have a plan to reshape Washington

Scott Walker ties Obama to rise in shootings

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

2016 GOP Presidential candidate, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) calls on President Obama to speak out for the protection of police officers: “I think his absence of leadership, of speaking out on this issue, as a leader.  It's doesn't matter whether you're a governor, account executive, a mayor, or President of the United States, when people are going after the men and women in uniform, whether they're a police officer or sheriff's deputy or state trooper, the people who are overwhelmingly doing the right thing every day, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe in communities all across America, it is the duty of the President to stand up and say something about that, to speak up.  I'm going to have the backs of the men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform in this country. I know the overwhelming majority of them are doing the right thing every day under extremely difficult circumstances.  And the rare instances if they're not, we're going to speak out about that.  I'm proud to say I'm the only governor in America, the first one and the only one I believe today, who signed a law that says there needs to be an independent investigation any time there's a death of someone in police custody.  Why?  It's good for the police, it's good for the public.  We want to make it clear that, if someone's following the rules and following the training they were given, then that will be upheld.  And in the very rare instance where someone's not, they need to be held accountable.  I understand that, and we need to address that.  But we need a President who first and foremost says that law enforcement professionals across this country are doing the job.  We need them to keep us safe, we need to have their back, and he has been silent on this and that's an outrage.”

Gov. Walker on Hillary Clinton in terms of women’s issues: “…when it comes to women's health care, again, she's just got it wrong.  We took the money out of the hands of Planned Parenthood and we've seen the videos.  Whether you're pro-life like me or not, I think most of Americans are disgusted with what they saw on those videos.  We took that money and put it out into non-controversial areas to provide for women's health.  But again, this is just a classic example where you just can't trust Hillary Clinton.”

Gov. Walker on not taking more refugees from Syria: “We're already a leader in this regard.  A lot of people know - don't know and very few have covered the fact that within the past year America has taken and settled, permanently settled, some 70,000 refugees, many of which are from Syria.  Throughout the last several years we put some $4 billion into humanitarian relief to help with the Syrian crisis.  America is leading, but at some point you can't just look at the symptoms, you've got to address the problem.  And the problem is squarely with ISIS and it's with Assad.”

Gov. Walker on fighting “outsider” candidates: “If you want someone who will fight and win - not just win three elections and four years in a blue state like we did - but win and get results without compromising common sense conservative principles, then I'm the candidate.  I've shown I can take on those same powerful special interests.  They spent in three elections almost a hundred million dollars, trying to take me out.  It was big gover - union bosses and the liberal special interests in Washington. … I'm willing to take on anyone.  I stood up to a hundred thousand protestors.  I took on the death threats.  I took on threats from my family.  We pushed back when they took us to federal and state courts.  We pushed back when they went after our state senators.  They went after me in a recall election and we won, and they made me the number one target in America.  Number one in America last year.”

Gov. Walker on his status in the Iowa polls: “The bottom line is we get around the state.  We're going through this weekend through our thirtieth county out of 99.  We'll be through all 99.  We're putting in the time in the grass roots.  When people hear our story about how we've got a plan to wreak havoc on Washington, and when they see that I'm like anybody else in this race, we've actually been tested, we're convinced in a state where caucuses are the name of the game and it's about five months out, we've got the time to make the grass roots connections and get that message out.”

Gov. Walker on why he hasn’t taken a position on key issues: “We're actually talking things people are really talking about.  You guys in the national media want to talk about all sorts of things.  When I go around the country - I was just in New Hampshire on a Harley this last weekend.  I'm spending the weekend here in Iowa.  What people want to talk about is the economy.  They want to talk about our plan to repeal Obamacare.  I'm actually the only candidate you're going to see on the stage at Wednesday's debate at the Reagan Library who actually has a plan to repeal Obamacare 2:17”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And joining me now from Ames is Governor Scott Walker.  Governor Walker, thanks so much for joining me.  Appreciate it.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN:  Glad to be with you.  Feels like a college game day event here.

TAPPER:  So you're in Ames, Iowa.  You were once poll wise, the king of Iowa.  The prohibitive favorite to win there.  You were at the top of the polls for months.  This week a new Quinnipiac poll has you in tenth place, with just three percent in the polls out there, down from double digits in July.  The Conservative National Review wrote a big piece about you, saying that there are questions about your campaign, "The Walker team has had a way of creating mini fiascos.  They follow a pattern in which clumsy statements from the candidate are often allowed to hang in the ether without clarification and inquiries.  They're either unanswered or treated with hostility.  How do you respond to that?  Is your campaign faltering?

WALKER:  The bottom line is we get around the state.  We're going through this weekend through our thirtieth county out of 99.  We'll be through all 99.  We're putting in the time in the grass roots.  When people hear our story about how we've got a plan to wreak havoc on Washington, and when they see that I'm like anybody else in this race, we've actually been tested, we're convinced in a state where caucuses are the name of the game and it's about five months out, we've got the time to make the grass roots connections and get that message out.

TAPPER:  But I guess the point is you started off and people seemed to be buying that and maybe they're not buying it as much.  One of the things that Republicans are telling me privately is that you sometimes don't take positions on important issues of the day.  Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you think that being gay is a choice?

WALKER:  Well, I mean I think that's, that's not even an issue for me to be involved in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You're actually not for ending birthright citizenship?

WALKER:  I'm not taking a position one way or the other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What would you do to address the migrants who are currently fleeing into Europe?

WALKER:  Everybody wants to talk about hypotheticals.  There is no such thing as a hypothetical.

TAPPER:  Obviously Republican voters are choosing their nominee based on their positions on the issues.  Why in these cases are you not giving your opinion?

WALKER:  We're actually talking things people are really talking about.  You guys in the national media want to talk about all sorts of things.  When I go around the country - I was just in New Hampshire on a Harley this last weekend.  I'm spending the weekend here in Iowa.  What people want to talk about is the economy.  They want to talk about our plan to repeal Obamacare.  I'm actually the only candidate you're going to see on the stage at Wednesday's debate at the Reagan Library who actually has a plan to repeal Obamacare 2:17

TAPPER:  There - this election seems to be, at least right now, about embracing outsiders.  Republicans liking Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, people who have never before held elected office.  We just saw Governor Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history, drop out.  You have spent a lifetime working in politics and government.  Why should voters, and how are you going to convince them that you're the right choice, when they are desperate for somebody who is not part of politics and government?

WALKER:  Because they actually want someone who can get the job done.  All these other folks can talk all they want.  Remember Barack Obama had never won anything in government before, and we see what a lousy President he's been, not just ideologically but in terms of actually running things.  I've run things.  I've actually got things done.  If you want someone who will fight and win - not just win three elections and four years in a blue state like we did - but win and get results without compromising common sense conservative principles, then I'm the candidate.  I've shown I can take on those same powerful special interests.  They spent in three elections almost a hundred million dollars, trying to take me out.  It was big gover - union bosses and the liberal special interests in Washington.

TAPPER:  I respect that you've taken on Democratic special interests in Wisconsin, but you've been backed by Republican special interests like the Koch brothers, right?  How, how does that square with what you're saying about taking on special interests, or do you think only liberal special interests are the ones worth taking on?

WALKER:  I'm taking on the ones in Washington.  In my state I didn't just take on the unions and Democrats.  Early on there was great support from the Assembly and some from the Senate.  People like state Senator Scott Fitzgerald, but there were some senators, including some who'd been in the leadership, who didn't want to do the kind of reforms.

So I'm willing to take on anyone.  I stood up to a hundred thousand protestors.  I took on the death threats.  I took on threats from my family.  We pushed back when they took us to federal and state courts.  We pushed back when they went after our state senators.  They went after me in a recall election and we won, and they made me the number one target in America.  Number one in America last year.

TAPPER:  But aren't the Koch brothers special interests too?  Can you give me an example of one time that you took on a conservative special interest?

WALKER:  I tell you flat out when I took on the hundred million dollars or so I raised $80 million in three elections in four and a half years, and 70 percent of it came from people that gave me $75 or less.  We raised it in - from more than 300,000 donors in all 50 states.  That's grass roots, that's not allegiance to one group or another.  That's actually listening to the people, the hardworking people all across this country who said they want a leader who's going to stand up and take on the special interests, the folks in Washington, including folks in my own party.  I've spoken out about my frustration about Obamacare.  I've spoken out about the fact on things like Planned Parenthood, which I defunded more than four years ago in a blue state, long before these videotapes.  We did it in a blue state.  There's no reason why it can't be done in Washington, and I lay some of that blame on the leadership in the Congress.  As President, I'm going to step up and lead for all of America, and we're going to get things done no matter who stands in the way.

TAPPER:  Well, if you do get the nomination, it does seem likely that you'll be facing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  You brought up your defunding of Planned Parenthood as Governor.  Listen to what Hillary Clinton had to say when she was in the badger state earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE:  Governor Walker has made it his personal mission to roll back women's health and rights.  He did defund Planned Parenthood.  And even though women in Wisconsin are still paid less than men, with women of color making even less, Scott Walker repealed protections for equal pay.  Maybe he just doesn't realize that when women are short-changed, entire families are short-changed, and Wisconsin and America are short-changed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  A little preview for you there, Governor.  If you do get the nomination, how are you going to respond to Secretary Clinton talking about you opposing equal pay and opposing women's health care?

WALKER:  Well, Hillary Clinton, like she is in so many other areas, is not telling the truth. I think increasingly Americans across this country realize we can’t trust Hillary Clinton to tell the truth on just about anything, and that's a good example of it.  Wisconsin has a law that prohibits discrimination in the work place.  I'd enforce that law, continue to enforce that law, I'll push for enforcing laws like all across the country.  And when it comes to women's health care, again, she's just got it wrong.  We took the money out of the hands of Planned Parenthood and we've seen the videos.  Whether you're pro-life like me or not, I think most of Americans are disgusted with what they saw on those videos.  We took that money and put it out into non-controversial areas to provide for women's health.  But again, this is just a classic example where you just can't trust Hillary Clinton.

TAPPER:  You recently wrote an op-ed at HotAir.com tying President Obama to cop killings around the country.  You wrote "Under President Obama we've seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric instead of hope and change.  We've seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat.  This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers who put their lives on the line for us, and hampers their ability to serve the communities that need their help."  That is a very serious charge, Governor.  Can you elaborate on how President Obama has, has played a role in the murder of police officers?

WALKER:  I think his absence of leadership, of speaking out on this issue, as a leader.  It's doesn't matter whether you're a governor, account executive, a mayor, or President of the United States, when people are going after the men and women in uniform, whether they're a police officer or sheriff's deputy or state trooper, the people who are overwhelmingly doing the right thing every day, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe in communities all across America, it is the duty of the President to stand up and say something about that, to speak up.  I'm going to have the backs of the men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform in this country.

I know the overwhelming majority of them are doing the right thing every day under extremely difficult circumstances.  And the rare instances if they're not, we're going to speak out about that.  I'm proud to say I'm the only governor in America, the first one and the only one I believe today, who signed a law that says there needs to be an independent investigation any time there's a death of someone in police custody.  Why?  It's good for the police, it's good for the public.

We want to make it clear that, if someone's following the rules and following the training they were given, then that will be upheld.  And in the very rare instance where someone's not, they need to be held accountable.  I understand that, and we need to address that.  But we need a President who first and foremost says that law enforcement professionals across this country are doing the job.  We need them to keep us safe, we need to have their back, and he has been silent on this and that's an outrage.

TAPPER:  I have heard President Obama praise police officers, but I'm, I'm assuming you're saying he's not doing enough.

WALKER:  He's praised them, he's praised them, but he's not speaking out about the fact that this rhetoric out there - and when you've got people say, we have people say pigs in a blanket at a rally, fry 'em up like bacon.  That's the kind of thing you need to speak out about.  You need to say that is wrong.  And we saw it.  I was just in Texas about a week and a half ago.

Couple days before that in Harris County there was a deputy sheriff who was shot 15 times, 15 times, while he was filling up his gas tank.  Why?  Because the sheriff there said they believe that the suspect that went after him did so just because he was in uniform.  In our society we need leaders, not just in elected office, we need clergy and business and other leaders in our community to say enough is enough.

These are the men and women we need to stand up and protect us.  We need to make sure they have the training and they follow through on that training.  We need to increase and improve relations for sure, but we cannot have it any more this idea that it's OK to go after law enforcement just because they wear the uniform and just because they have a badge.

TAPPER:  President Obama recently announcing that the U.S. will be taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.  You have said that you do not think the U.S. should be taking in refugees from Syria.  Tell me why the U.S. should not be joining Europe in accepting more of these individuals fleeing this brutal rule of President Assad and the heinous attacks of ISIS?

WALKER:  We're already a leader in this regard.  A lot of people know - don't know and very few have covered the fact that within the past year America has taken and settled, permanently settled, some 70,000 refugees, many of which are from Syria.  Throughout the last several years we put some $4 billion into humanitarian relief to help with the Syrian crisis.  America is leading, but at some point you can't just look at the symptoms, you've got to address the problem.

And the problem is squarely with ISIS and it's with Assad.  You know this President a few years ago drew a red line in the sand and allowed it to be crossed.  He's called ISIS the JV squad, and he's not allowing our military personnel to do what they're trained to do in places like Iraq.  If we would just life the political restrictions, empower the over 3,000 troops that are there to do what they're trained to do to help the Kurd and the Sunni allies reclaim the territory taken by ISIS.

TAPPER:  Governor Scott Walker, you'll be happy to hear that with this interview I have now officially interviewed all of the Republican Presidential candidates and I look forward to seeing you on the stage on Wednesday at the Reagan Library.  Thanks so much for joining us.

WALKER:  We'll see you on Wednesday.  Thank you very much.

END INTERVIEW

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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