Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced Monday he is running for president in 2016, touting a combination of policy pursuits and electoral successes in his home state as a way to differentiate himself from a crowded Republican field.
“I’m running for president to fight and win for the American people,” he said in a video posted online Monday. “Without sacrificing our principles, we won three elections in four years in a blue state. We did it by leading. Now, we need to do the same thing for America.”
First elected in 2010, Mr. Walker, 47, survived a recall election in 2012 before winning again in 2014.
Mr. Walker, who has taken on public employee unions in Wisconsin, among other battles, also said that “we didn’t nibble around the edges,” but rather, “enacted big bold reforms” and “took power out of the hands of the big government special interests” and gave it to hardworking taxpayers.
In the Republican field, he said, “there are some who are good fighters. But they haven’t won those battles.”
“There are others who have won elections, but haven’t consistently taken on the big fights,” he said. “[We] showed you could do both.”
Mr. Walker is running at or near the top of early national public polling on the race for the 2016 GOP nomination, and has staked out early leads in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.
“It’s not too late. We can make our country great again,” he said.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to Mr. Walker’s announcement by saying he’s “already brought the worst of Washington to Wisconsin” and that he has “the wrong priorities for America.”
“To promote adherence to his rigid partisan views and to please the special interests that have backed his campaigns, Walker has pit the people of Wisconsin against each other in contentious ideological fights,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.