- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday called for a full reauthorization of the Patriot Act, a day after the U.S. Senate voted to rewrite the post-9/11 law and overhaul the NSA’s bulk data collection program.

Mr. Walker, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said on “Fox and Friends” that he thinks “we would be much better off” with a full reauthorization.

“I think it’s an important tool,” he said. “We see it’s not just post-9/11 — we’ve seen it around the country and around the world: real challenges, real threats, real potentials out there. I certainly don’t want to be in the position that France is in where they’re now saying, ‘What could we have done?’ “

He did say he preferred the Senate-passed USA Freedom Act over nothing.

“I just think going forward, it’s another example of the failure of this president to lead,” he said. “I hope in the future we’ll re-establish the Patriot Act.”

Republican senators who are running for president have taken different positions on the issue. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas supported the USA Freedom Act, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio both voted against it.

But Mr. Rubio blasted the bill, saying it weakens national security, while Mr. Paul had said it does not go far enough to protect Americans’ records.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has said he would entertain reforms but that he wants to have the tools necessary to prevent another 9/11.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who like Mr. Walker are weighing 2016 runs, are among the defenders of the Patriot Act.

Mr. Walker also offered praise for “two groups” of Republican contenders, but said he combines the best of both worlds.

“Voters want someone who can both fight and win for hardworking taxpayers,” Mr. Walker said. “There’s a lot of great Republicans in this race I think we should be excited about as Republicans, but there’s really two groups. There are people who are good fighters, many in the United States Senate who have been fighting the good fight, raising the banner, taking on Obama, but have yet to win any real victories there.”

“We’ve also got another group of friends of mine who are governors or former governors who [are] really good at winning — they won election, they won re-election — but they haven’t taken on the really big fights in their state,” he continued. “I think what would make us unique, if I chose to get in this race, would be we’ve done both. We’ve fought the good fight on issue after issue, and we’ve won those fights not just [at] the ballot box but when it matters on policy.”

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