Scott Walker

Scott Walker's New Flip-Flop: He Now Supports Auto Bailouts?


Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has already flip-flopped when it comes to immigration.

Once upon a time, he supported the Reaganite position which holds that immigration is a good thing and illegals should be given work permits at least. In 2006, Walker supported the McCain-Kennedy bill that would have granted a path to citizenship (nativists vilify that as amnesty) for illegals. But that was then, reported Politico, and the governor now supports curbs on legal immigration.

Walker has a new apparent flip flop in the works, this one about the auto bailouts. Back in 2012, he was unambiguous in arguing that the government bailouts of GM and Chrysler retarded economic recovery in the industrial Midwest and the country as a whole:

When Republicans nominated as their presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he of the now-infamous "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" column, Walker railed against the bailouts in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Like Romney, Walker argued that the federal government's approach cost too much taxpayer money and, when pressed by Maddow, concluded that the program was not helpful in Wisconsin.

"I'm just pointing out it didn't [work] in Wisconsin and ultimately did in places like Michigan and elsewhere," Walker told Maddow, "but it could have come back more effectively and sooner had they taken the advice of Mitt Romney early on and done a managed bankruptcy instead of spending all those dollars of taxpayers' money that otherwise could have been done more effectively in the private sector early on."

What a difference a few years and greater ambitions make. Speaking at an Oldsmobile museum in Cleveland, Walker now moves his lips like this when asked about the efficacy of the bailouts:

"That's a hypothetical question from the past," the Wisconsin governor and likely Republican presidential candidate replied, according to accounts from multiplelocal reporters. "I think what we're going to talk about is the future."…

Walker's political team declined to clarify his current position on the bailouts when asked this week by the Northeast Ohio Media Group. So it's hard to say whether Walker has abandoned his past views or if he's only trying to avoid spelling it out for voters who might be disinclined to support him if they know precisely where he stands.

Read more here.

Just what we need, right? A Republican candidate who explicitly devolves from openness to nativism on immigration while zipping up over an apparent flip-flop regarding an illegal bailout of car companies by the government. If the best you can say is that he's "only trying to avoid spelling" out positions to voters who would then "be disinclined to support him if they know precisely where he stands," well, your're not really saying anything nice at all, are you?

NEXT: Friday Funnies: Hillary for Prez

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  1. A politician waffling on a divisive issue? Shocking! Reason better get right on it.

    1. JINX!!!

  2. Wow. A politician switching sides on an issue. When has THAT ever happened? What next – TEAMS flipping their support for protesting the government based on who’s in office or something?

  3. I have such disdain for politicians.

    1. Perhaps your position will evolve. 😉

      1. Someday he will have dain for politicians.

        1. I learned a new word today: Dain.

          – and that’s awsome.

          1. I had a dog once that was a Dane.
            He was a good Dane.
            But he wasn’t a great Dane.

  4. It may be a minority opinion around here, but I see Walker crashing and burning very quickly. His claim to fame (standing up to unions) is not enough to get an edge on the competition — nor should it be.

    1. In my opinion he has the best shot at winning the primary. If you look at the internal polling he has the broadest appeal across the base.

      1. A state’s presidential primary, or the nomination?

    2. Turning the birthplace of the communist movement in America into a Right to Work state is one of the most incredible accomplishments of any elected official in the country.

      Walker has done more in the last couple of years than most people will do in their lifetime.

  5. “That’s a hypothetical question from the past,”

    See, the thing about asking a question from the past is that you can actually look at data to gauge whether something was efficacious…it’s not like someone is asking whether he thinks future bailouts will work…they are asking him whether he thinks the previous bailouts worked…I guess talking about the future is easier. I guess he won’t be running on his record either…since it is in the past.

  6. ” Walker supported the McCain-Kennedy bill that would have granted a path to citizenship (nativists vilify that as amnesty) for illegals.”

    Regardless of your position on immigration, how is that not the definition of amnesty?

    1. I believe the law involved posing a fine and back taxes in order to be eligible. Fining someone is in fact the antonym of amnesty.

  7. So not answering the question is changing your position?

  8. would have granted a path to citizenship (nativists vilify that as amnesty) for illegals

    It is not vilifying to provide an accurate label for a turd. It is providing amnesty for their illegal actions. Something evne you admit was illegal. While you clearly have a different stance on whether the law is right, calling amnesty amnesty is not vilification. The fact that the act is rewarding illegal behaviour and insulting those who followed the process does that all on its own.

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  10. I wouldn’t call it a flip-flop, but rather a dodge. But at least you’re trying to find matters of substance to criticize in a candidate, rather than the sort of innuendo Sheldon wrote about Fiorina yesterday.

    1. Still, I’m more interested in opinion polls & other measures of climate of opinion than I am in candidates’ positions. Candidates can always change positions, & in fact that’s the way democracy is supposed to work. They’re not supposed to do what they want, but what the people who elect them want. That’s why I’m more interested in what voters or potential voters think.

      1. That can include their rxns to candidates’ stated opinions as trial balloons.

  11. This guy is flip-flopping his way right out of my vote. Aside from Ted Cruz, is there anyone left in DC who has convictions and is willing to stick by them? I doubt it. The lure of money and power is too great, apparently. This country is sinking faster than the Titanic.

  12. Reagan never supported open borders and illegal immigration. Walker opposes continued massive illegal immigration of unskilled workers because, among other reasons, that does indeed lower the wages paid for the jobs they take. Jobs which would find Americans willing to perform them were the pay high enough . Hopefully he also opposes increases in 1HB visas too . The actual unemployment rate in the country (u6) is 20% or so . Trying to reduce this by enforcing existing immigration laws hardly makes one a nativist.

    1. Except all available data and models suggest immigration helps employment.
      Now there are some caveats when you are talking about illegal immigration and H1Bs. In both cases the immigrants are in vulnerable positions (since they can’t readily seek alternative employment), so it is easy for employers to take advantage of them. But that can be easily fixed by allowing more legal immigrants with reduced restrictions.

  13. Eh, there is a difference between changing your position on something and simply declining to talk about it in front of an unfriendly audience. And if I recall correctly, his “flip flop” on immigration had a similar characteristic. That suggests cowardice, maybe. Which is unfortunate since his claim to fame is standing up against powerful unions. But not necessarily that he is changing his mind.

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