Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been a bright spot for a Republican Party – operating with an all-time low approval rating – since his victorious 2012 recall election. His prescription to cure the party's ills is to focus on fiscal issues – rather than social ones – and offer tangible alternatives to Democratic proposals, as well as gain total control of government.
Walker, who is mentioned by some as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, is just one of many Republican governors touting their tale as one of success that should serve as a national model. Pointing to swing (ish) states like Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada, Walker noted Friday the Republican-led states all cast their electoral votes for President Barack Obama in 2012. He also took a swipe at GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
"I would contend that almost all 30 of those states have Republican governors that are not only Republicans but were predominantly more conservative than our party's nominee was for the last time on a whole spectrum of issues – fiscal, economic, social," Walker said at an event with reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
But the governors have shown an ability to be effective and focus on the largest problems at hand – as in the economy – which is why they have been met with success, he said.
"The difference is as governors, we focused on the thing that mattered most to people and those are economic and fiscal issues," Walker said, distinguishing his counterparts from Washington Republicans. "I'm pro-life like most Republicans, I don't apologize for that, but I don't obsess on it. In my state and across the country, Democrats seem to be obsessed with those issues."
Walker also said "it's preferable" to have one party rule in government, like he does in his state.
"Conventional wisdom [is] that Americans want divided government, but what I think they've seen over the last few years is that instead of checks and balances what that's gotten them is a lot of gridlock," he said. "And I think it's significant to make the case, as we did in Wisconsin."
Walker was re-elected after labor groups angry about reforms he pushed at the start of his term in 2010 forced a recall vote. The race garnered millions of dollars of spending from outside groups and was seen as a proxy battle over the ability of a hard-charging, tea party elected politician to lead. Walker is currently on tour promoting the book he wrote about the events leading up to the recall election called "Unintimidated."