Wisconsinites embraced Ted Cruz this week and many saw it as an affirmation of Governor Scott Walker continued support from the grassroots of the Republican Party. On Wednesday, Walker discussed why he believes Donald Trump lost and the many key factors that led to the Donald’s downfall, on the popular Tucson, Arizona radio show hosted by James T. Harris.
Walker told Harris that Trump’s defeat was “a great victory for us in Wisconsin. One of those that we showed yet again what common sense, principle conservative leadership means.” Walker told Harris, who while at WTMJ developed a close friendship with the governor said nostalgically, “You know that, when we took on that recall five years ago. The big government union bosses and special interest and last night we showed in Wisconsin that we will not be intimidated by anybody. Not the least of which a member of our own Party coming in to try and undermine those very issues.”
When he arrived in Wisconsin, Trump made it clear that he was not fond of Walker. Instead of focusing on promoting himself against Cruz, Trump bashed Walker. Walker is still very popular in the state and Trump’s criticism of him likely cost Trump the state.
“I was fully engaged and then Trump amazingly tried to make it about me versus him where over 80 percent of the Republicans in the state view us favorably,” stated Walker. “That was a critical mistake. The reason why I’m liked isn’t because I’m a celebrity,” explained Walker. “It is because of what we have done and what Republicans, Independents and yes even some Democrats have affirmed time, and time again – even after hundreds of thousands of protestors and spending over a hundred million dollars on the recall and all the battles involved in that. They threw everything and the kitchen sink at us and we prevailed.”
Trump went so far in his criticism as to suggest that Walker should raise taxes to improve schools and transportation. “First of all I don’t think there is any Republican voter that thinks we should raise taxes,” Walker told Harris. “Our voters, particularly the Republican primary voters, are very well engaged and informed. We had nearly fifty percent turnout for a Presidential preference. Nearly 50%, the biggest we had since 1972 and even bigger than the 1980’s when President Reagan eventually won. We were engaged not just because we are good civic students out there. We know what is at stake with these elections. We have seen it time and again.”
Walker and Harris discussed the blistering interview of Trump by Charlie Sykes. “It is unfiltered,” said Walker referring to talk radio. “It is a direct connection to the people. It is raw. You get the facts. You get exactly what people feel, good or bad. And just because I am on talk radio a lot doesn’t mean I am not criticized. Thankfully 99 out of 100 times a talk radio host in my state are with me. But even if they aren’t I am more than happy to go on and talk about positions I have. I think people who otherwise might be likely targets for Trump’s message. People that are dissatisfied with Washington and fed up with the program. In our state, they have been listening to talk radio and realized it has been willing to challenge special interest and sometimes interests of the Republican Party. They are grass roots and well connected. I love being on air because it is a great way to connect to voters all across the state in a way that is trusting because they know that talk show hosts overwhelmingly give people the facts, they don’t push their agenda, they lay it out front and let the listeners decide and in our state it was overwhelming. I was shocked, again another miscalculation, that Trump went on a few of those shows and not the least of which our friend Charlie Sykes who he didn’t know he was consistently in the Never Trump Camp.”