Presidential hopeful is waiting on God before he makes a decision about taking another stab at a White House run
By Warren Cole Smith
(WNS)–This week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moved closer to a 2016 White House run by hiring more key staffers. A pair of Washington veterans have signed on to help coordinate the governor’s foreign and domestic policy. He also added more political staff this past week in New Hampshire. On Monday, Walker spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, where I caught up with him and asked about his pro-life views and the college degree he never got.
You said you haven’t yet decided whether to run for president. What’s going to help you make that decision? I think getting around the country, talking to people. I just sense … that people want new leaders with big, bold ideas from outside of Washington. And I sense that they’re actually going to have the courage to act on them. We feel that’s something we can potentially bring to the table, but we want to make sure that, not only are we hearing from the people, but we want to discern that this is God’s calling, not just man’s calling.
In Wisconsin, you’ve made national news with the 20-week ultrasound bill. You talked about your pro-life views and your son’s ultrasound picture. Say a little about your pro-life views and that particular bill. I think, particularly about Matthew—our first born who’s now 20, he’ll be 21 this June—and just that first picture from our own ultrasound that Tonette and I looked at and shared, to just seeing him turn sideways where he had his hand completely out, thumb in his mouth. Clearly he had been sucking his thumb, and you just think about that. That was long before he was born, yet there he was, just like a baby would be outside of the womb. And that was just such a powerful reminder to us personally, but also in terms of my elected position, about how important protecting life is, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. We know these are simple things. It’s funny how the left gets upset. But giving somebody more information about the health of their unborn child, it’s just such a remarkable thing. And we know when people get the facts it makes a difference.
Some of the national media have talked about your lack of a college degree. What have you learned by having gone to the school of hard knocks? I would ask people, if you were hiring a CEO for a company today, would you look at their track record in the last few jobs they had, or would you just base it on what they did in college? I think you’d want to look at their track record. In our case, like a lot of people in America, I left my senior year to take a job. A lot of the friends of mine who were a year or two older were still looking for work at that time. I jumped at the chance for a job. I value a college education, though. I’ve got two sons in college today. I want them both to finish up and have the chance to get a degree that I didn’t. But I understand that in America there are great options for everyone. Some people are going to follow a path like I did, others are going to have a technical college or two-year degree, others are going to have an apprenticeship. We need to do more things to get people ready for a career.
You said to these national religious broadcasters that you’ve got to be crazy to run for president if God is not specifically calling you to do it. How will you know if God is calling you? Part of it’s the feeling. You know, we even looked—my wife and I, when we sat down even after November—and tried to sense what God’s call was. Instead of realizing how hectic it was to go through the last four years, part of our early assessment was, was this God’s providence? Did God put us through the pressure, the protests, the recalls, the reelect, all the trials and tribulations we went through the last four years? Maybe that wasn’t just for naught. It wasn’t just to be elected governor. Was it preparing us for something else? And so, really, it’s trying to be humble and discerning what God’s will is. And God’s will may be to run and not win. Who knows? But in all of that, we try to keep Him the center.
What do you do for fun? I ride a Harley. I’ve got a 2003 Road King. I am not a golfer, but I love to ride my motorcycle. I’ve got 21,000 miles on it, so that’s my respite.