- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is pushing back against the idea that the GOP would be better off nominating a candidate in the 2016 presidential race who has polished his or her foreign policy credentials on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Walker said this week that the records of former President Reagan, a former governor, and President Obama, a former senator, underscore how a smart approach to foreign policy isn’t necessarily linked to congressional experience.

“I would say … that in my lifetime, the most significant president when it comes to foreign policy was a former governor, Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Walker told talk show host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday. “The most faulty president, I would argue, when it comes to foreign policy and national security is a first-term senator by the name of Barack Obama, who was on the Foreign Affairs Committee. And so, just those qualifications alone aren’t enough.”

GOP insiders say the combination of an improving economy, the likelihood of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee and the threat of radical terrorism in the Middle East, is increasing the chances that the next election could be heavy on foreign policy.

Mr. Walker’s comments put him in line with a slew of several current and former governors who are eying bids and making the case that the party should tap a governor with executive experience.

But they distance him from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, who also is expected to run for the GOP nomination.

Mr. Rubio has dismissed the notion that the GOP is better off nominating a governor, arguing that foreign policy will be key in the next election and that is where senators have the chance to shine.

“The next president of the United States needs to be someone who has a clear view of what’s happening in the world, a clear strategic vision of America’s role in it, and a clear tactical plan for how to engage America in global affairs,” Mr. Rubio said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I think for governors, that is going to be a challenge, at least initially, because they don’t deal with foreign policy on a daily basis.”


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