Scott Walker reads from devotional, emphasizes courage

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By Brent Griffiths

WAUKEE — Walking to the stage toting his devotional in hand, Wisconsin Gov.Scott Walker began his speech with a story.

Describing a visit with a Wisconsin supporter before his recall election, Walker said the supporter passed away just a day before people went to the polls. A couple days after his success, a friend emailed him a devotional that was about tough times. Realizing that the passage would have more resonance with the family, Walker decided to call them.

“The way to walk through demanding days is to grip my hand tightly,” Walker read from his copy of Jesus Calling clutched between his hands while eager photographers snapped away trying to position the money shot.

While other candidates wove personal asides into their policies throughout the day, Walker’s was by far the longest. Towards the end, the 47-year-old realized he was running out of time and launched into laundry list mode.

He ticked through everything from education to Obamacare and the possibility of a nuclear deal with Iran. Like all the other speakers who touched on Iran, Walker wanted nothing to do with any talks or for that matter a deal.

Walker received a plethora of positive press after his appearance at another multi-candidate event. In January, Walker had the perceived momentum in the state. Since then, critics have targeted Walker’s foreign policy experience as well as his past stances on a variety of issues.

Just as he was beginning his recent jaunt through the home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses, the Des Moines Register published a front-page below the fold story on how some Iowa activists were viewing Walker’s stances on immigration, the renewable fuel standard and other topics compared to his past statements. A former aide, who left the campaign following negative comments made about Iowa, said on Twitter Walker’s position of legal immigration was an “Olympics-quality flip-flop.”

While leaving the above context out, Walker did talk about the topic before the end of the forum. Just like at the Iowa Agriculture summit, Walker was the last one to speak.

“And when it comes to legal immigration the economy should drive things,” he said. “The No. 1 priority should be American workers and their wages.”

After more than four hours of straight speeches attendees were anxious to leave, but not before Walker talked about the courage Americans should look for in their next leader.

“We need someone with the courage to look the American people in the eye and say it will not happen in day, month week and year,” he said.

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