Guest Post: Julianne Thompson at the Wisconsin Announcement for Scott Walker


Guest Post: Julianne Thompson at the Wisconsin Announcement for Scott Walker

July 13, 2015 was a beautiful day in Waukesha, Wisconsin, as scores of supporters packed-out the Wausheka Country Expo Center to see Governor Scott Walker announce his candidacy for President of the United States.

Faith, family, and freedom were at the center of every message spoken by those who took the podium at Walker’s announcement. Every member of the Walker family had a role to play. Rev. Walker (the Governor’s father) gave the invocation. His brother and two small nieces led the audience in the pledge. His wife introduced him, and his sons, Matt and Alex kicked-off the event.

Tonette Walker introduces her husband, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Tonette Walker introduces her husband, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

“My father is running for two reasons, myself and my brother Matt, so we and all American families can have a future.”, said Alex Walker. The two served as masters of ceremonies for the announcement program.

Matt and Alex Walker talk about their father, WI Gov Scott Walker

Matt and Alex Walker talk about their father, WI Gov Scott Walker

Matt and Alex began the event with a humorous look at just what it is like being the sons of a well-known Governor turned Presidential candidate. “To us he is just “dad”, said Matt Walker. “He likes to embarrass us. He still wears jeans shorts and long tube socks. He looks forward to Halloween more than we do, and one year he and my mother dressed-up as Yoda and Luke Skywalker.” The boys were a huge hit with the audience who loved the anecdotes. Throughout the afternoon it was easy to see this could be any American family. The humorous stories, those of love and devotion, the good times and the bad…and how they weathered the storms together – the recall and even death threats. One thing is certain, this is a family built on a firm foundation of faith, and they will tell you that God has been faithful to the Walker family.

WI Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch at Scott Walker announcement

WI Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch at Scott Walker announcement

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who took the podium shortly before Tonnette Walker said, “When they pulled that first petition to recall the Governor I sent him a text that said Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” She said within minutes Governor Walker sent her a message.”My text simply said Isaiah 54:17 – No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and you will silence every voice raised against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.” She continued,”Through all of the storms, the threats, the vile behavior of his enemies, he never wavered.”

Another trend of the event was the campaign’s understanding of the importance of the female vote. Every speaker at the event, aside from Walker himself and his sons was female. After an enthusiastic Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and a rousing speech by author and television personality Rachel Campos-Duffy, the First Lady of Wisconsin took the podium.

“You all have no idea what you mean to our family”, Tonnette Walker stated. “We appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts. You knocked on doors, you made phone calls, you travelled to Wisconsin from around the country to help, but most of all you prayed for us, and we know you prayed for us, because we felt those prayers.” After speaking for a few minutes Tonette Walker introduced the Governor.

The entire Walker family at Scott Walker's Presidential announcement

The entire Walker family at Scott Walker’s Presidential announcement

With no podium Walker began his speech, “I love America”, he said. He told stories of how as a child he learned the importance of paying homage to those who gave us our freedom by decorating the graves of veterans. He stressed the importance of a strong military pledging to rebuild our national defense if elected.

Walker went on to cite President Obama’s sophomoric approach to foreign policy, “President Obama called ISIS the JV squad. He called Yemen a success story, and he said that Iran is a country we can do business with.” He talked about putting yellow ribbons on trees as a child in honor of American hostages in Iran and then introduced former Iran hostage Kevin Hermening who was in the audience in support of Walker. “If anyone knows Iran is not a country you can do business with it is Kevin Hermening”, Walker said.

He pledged unwavering support for our biggest ally in the middle east, Israel. He stated we need a President who understands the magnitude of problems we are facing in the world today and one who is not afraid to face them head-on. He also explained why he feels radical Islam is the biggest threat facing the world today and what he would do to help defeat it’s power. “I would rather take the fight to them, so they cannot bring the fight here”, he said. “Our goal should be peace, but if we must fight, America will fight to win.”

Regarding economics Walker began with a comparison, and he used his favorite store to do so…Kohls. “I have learned shopping with Tonette that when I go to Kohls I head over to the sale rack, and hopefully I have taken a coupon. People ask how a company like Kohls can make a profit selling items at such a low cost. The fact is that they understand that by lowering the cost they broaden their customer base.” He compared that to American fiscal policies and said that if we keep the cost of doing business down more people will be able to afford to start businesses here and create new jobs, and said the same holds true for tax policy, “When you lower the cost you broaden the base”, he said.

Regarding Obamacare he stated, “On my first day as Governor we joined in the lawsuit against Obamacare and on my first day as President I will lead the fight to repeal Obamacare.”

He also said on day one he would support the Keystone Pipeline and then went on to speak about eduction.

“All children deserve access to quality education, whether it is public, private, faith-based, online, or another type of school. The choice should be up to the family. Dollars should be sent back to local schools not the federal government. Decisions on education should be made on the local level…and that means no Common Core”, he said to enthusiastic applause.

Walker went on to explain the biggest difference between he and the left. “They believe success is measured by how many people are dependent on government programs. I believe we measure our success by how many people are not dependent on the government.”

As both a spectator at the event and a supporter of Governor Walker, I left feeling a new found enthusiasm. I believe his appeal is broad enough to build the kind of coalition in the primary needed to win the nomination. He is a fiscal hawk with a record to prove it. He is a staunch supporter of a strong national defense. He wants to return power to the states, and he is a strong man of faith. I also see in him a candidate with the ability to reach crossover voters in swing states, which I feel makes him the strongest candidate for the general election. He has been tried by fire and has proven he will not cave or weaken under pressure. Not only did he become Governor of a very purple state that leans blue, but he is the only Governor in US history to survive a recall and win reelection afterward. Like Reagan, he has won the hearts and votes of many “Walker democrats”, who support him because he does what he promises. He leads!

Julianne Thompson is President of Message + Mobilization, a grassroots outreach and messaging firm. She is co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders and former co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party. Julianne served as Press Secretary of the Georgia Republican Party and was selected as one of Georgia’s Presidential Electors in 2012. She lives in metro-Atlanta with her husband, Jason and two children.

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