Scott Walker Talks Border Walls, School Choice and Bucks Stadium on 'Meet the Press'
By Ashley Luthern
Scott Walker, during an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," would not rule out the idea of a northern wall when asked about his foreign policy plan to secure the country's borders.
Host Chuck Todd pressed the Wisconsin governor, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, about why candidates are focusing on the southern border and building a fence there, rather than the threat of terrorists crossing the northern border.
Walker said the question of a northern wall had been raised by people in New Hampshire.
"They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago," Walker said. "So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at."
He added that he's tacking the issue as part of a broader focus on security.
"It wasn't just about building a wall and securing our borders," Walker said of his recent speech at The Citadel. "It was also about making sure our intelligence community has the ability for counter-terrorism and the ability to go after the infrastructure they need to protect us."
Walker's interview aired less than a day after The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll showed him dropping from 17% support to 8% in the key primary state of Iowa.
Todd also questioned Walker about Wisconsin having a higher incarceration rate of African-American men than anywhere in the country and ranking last in the country in the overall well-being of black children.
"Well, that's a sad truth," Walker said. "It's been true for decades. And part of it is, I think, some of the poor policies in the city of Milwaukee. We pushed back on it."
Walker then pointed to challenges at Milwaukee Public Schools as part of the reason for the disparity and why he is an advocate for school choice.
He also again referenced the experience of Megan Sampson, a high-school English teacher who was laid off from Milwaukee Public Schools in 2010. Walker has used her as the face of Act 10, his signature bill that curtailed collective bargaining for most public employee unions.
Since Walker referenced her in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in 2011, Sampson has asked Walker to stop using her story and renewed her calls this year when Walker began using it in presidential campaign appearances.
On Iran, Walker called the nuclear deal that the Obama administration is touting "a horrible deal," and he argued the U.S. should "tear it up" and pursue a tougher stance against Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Walker also responded to a question about the state's deal to help finance a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, saying the plan had nothing to do with the fact that one of the Bucks' investors, Jon Hammes, is also co-chairman for fundraising for Walker's campaign.
"If this was political, there's no way I'd be supporting the previous owner, Herb Kohl, who put $100 million of his own money in to help build this."
Kohl, a Democrat, is a former U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
(c)2015 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel