. . . but I’m very disappointed in Scott Walker:
by Andrew Desiderio | 5:42 pm, September 17th, 2015
Wisconsin Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker went after the media following CNN’s GOP debate, telling radio host Glenn Beck on Thursday that members of the political press were going to spin the debate as a win for Carly Fiorina “no matter what.”
“I think going in, we knew the narrative no matter what was going to happen was that they were going to say Carly had a big night, no matter what, and obviously they said that,” Walker said. “I think the other impression was — the feedback I got from folks, not just the press but from across the country we talked to, was a frustration that there wasn’t more talk … about issues.”
Walker, who once sat high atop the polls in Iowa but whose campaign has since faltered as Donald Trump rose to prominence among conservatives, also criticized CNN for “trying to pit people against each other for ratings, instead of talking about the issues.”
“That’s what’s wrong with this campaign, we’re not actually talking about issues, we’re talking about personalities,” Walker said.
There’s more, including the audio from the Glenn Beck program, at the original.
I endorsed Governor Walker for President a couple months ago, and even bought, and have worn, a Scott Walker t-shirt. I endorsed Mr Walker because I saw him as a tough guy who would fight hard and win, just as he has done, thrice, in Wisconsin, and just as he did in the fight against public sector unions. I did not expect Governor Walker to be a whiner about not having done well in a debate.
From The New York Times. Click to enlarge.
Mr Walker has something of a legitimate claim: he was asked only two questions, directly, in three hours, and got in only five rebuttals. Yeah, Donald Trump got more than twice as much talking time, and Carly Fiorina about 50% more talking time than did Mr Walker, in part because they got more questions, but also because they took
the time, they seized their opportunities
. If Mr Walker got only nine minutes of time, fewer than anyone else, it’s at least partially his own fault.
And Mr Walker knew the rules of the debate, going in. If he didn’t like them, he could have declined to participate; he went forward anyway.
Well, carpe diem Governor Walker, seize the day! If things aren’t going your way, make them go your way. Donald Trump did, and Carly Fiorina did, and if you believe that you deserve to be on the big stage with them, then you had damned well better be ready to fight your way into the lead, because nobody is just going to hand it to you. You think that the debate was unfair, that it was rigged? You’re asking us to vote for you to become the next President of the United States, and that means that we are supposed to believe you can handle Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping and Angela Merkel and Benjamin Netanyahu, and if you believe for one moment that they will be nice and play fair, then you don’t deserve to be President of the United States.
In the meantime, Governor Walker needs to fix his own campaign. As I have pointed out previously, his own campaign website has a “Who Won the Debate” page, in which readers are asked to vote on the result. On that page, the website uses the debate participant photo from the previous debate, the one on Fox News, the one in which Mrs Fiorina was not allowed to participate.
Now, that could have been, and probably was, simply a mistake by a campaign staffer, someone getting the page ready even before the debate. But once the Walker campaign was notified of the mistake, something I did personally both by telephone and e-mail, that image should have been changed. That it wasn’t changed means either:
- Mr Walker’s campaign staff doesn’t get communication from the lower levels (I have no particular contact with any campaign higher ups); or
- Mr Walker’s campaign staff does know about the mistake, and is just being petulant about it.
In either case, Governor Walker is ultimately responsible for it.
Governor Walker still has a chance to pull this one out, but it’s not much of one; he has let a big opportunity to separate himself from the pack slip away, and presidential candidates don’t usually get second chances. The next debate is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28th, at the University of Colorado, to be broadcast on CNBC. Mr Trump and Mrs Fiorina have momentum going for them, but either of them could easily hurt their chances with a poor performance. If Governor Walker is going to have any chance going forward, he’s going to have to grab that debate and take control and do it all himself; no one is going to make it easy for him. And if he can’t do that, then he doesn’t deserve to be President.