Being a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 is so tough. Saying something vaguely offensive can be good, since it shows you’ll stand up to the liberal media and lets certain members of the base know that you think there’s something fishy about President Obama, too. But where’s the line? Do you want to suggest that Americans who exercised their right to protest your policies are sort of like ISIS? As Scott Walker learned at the Conservative Political Action Conference, probably not.
Walker’s speech on Thursday was met with cheers of “run, Scott, run,” but he’s taking flak for a comment he made during the question-and-answer section. When asked how he’d address threats like ISIS if he becomes commander-in-chief, Walker noted that as the governor of Wisconsin he already receives threat assessments from the FBI and the head of Wisconsin’s National Guard, and has been concerned about the threat from ISIS “for years.” He said we need a commander-in-chief who will “send a message, not only that we’ll protect American soil, but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence.”
Okay, question answered! But then Walker added, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,” referring to his battle against public-employee unions. Oops.
Following his remarks, Walker told a handful of reporters, “There’s no comparison between the two, let me be perfectly clear. I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with.”
Somewhere, Chris Christie is screaming about how he managed to have a worse CPAC appearance than the guy whose spokeswoman had to release a statement saying he’s “in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS.”