- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker suggested Tuesday that if he were to run for president, he could envision simply letting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio compete amongst themselves in the key state of Florida.

“If we get in as a candidate, we’re going to make a strong play in Iowa,” Mr. Walker said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show. “The neat thing about being around the country is if we chose to get in, I don’t think there’s a state out there we wouldn’t play in. I mean, other than maybe Florida where Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are — listen, some of the polls [are] essentially tied, and they’re going to eat up a good amount of that financial advantage that Governor Bush is going to have.”

Mr. Walker was responding to a recorded comment from Mr. Bush that the former Florida governor “just [doesn’t] do straw polls.” Mr. Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have indicated that they plan to skip August’s Iowa straw poll, which has traditionally served as an unofficial kick-off to the Republican presidential nominating contest.

Mr. Walker said he hasn’t made any such commitments that would be required of a candidate. Mr. Bush, though he is laying the groundwork for a White House bid, likewise has not officially declared his candidacy. Mr. Huckabee announced earlier this month that he was running for president and Mr. Rubio announced last month he was running.

Mr. Walker also pointed out that Florida Gov. Rick Scott spent around $100 million in his 2014 re-election campaign.

“There won’t be that much, but a good chunk of that’ll be going after the Florida primary, but short of that, I think our message — common sense conservative reform, if we were to get in this election — could play just about anywhere out there,” Mr. Walker said in the interview, which was first noted by Time. “And I think if we ultimately ended up being a candidate, we’d be focused on the caucus in Iowa and the primaries in places like New Hampshire and South Carolina on down the line.”

Mr. Walker is running first in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses, and second in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina behind Mr. Bush, according to Real Clear Politics’ recent average of public polling on the prospective 2016 GOP field.

In Florida, Mr. Walker is also actually second behind Mr. Bush, who is at 24 percent to Mr. Walker’s 18 percent and Mr. Rubio’s 12.7 percent, in RCP’s average of recent polling, though the most recent survey included from the Sunshine State was taken in late March.

AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Mr. Walker’s group Our American Revival, said in an email that Mr. Walker “is not a candidate.”

“Should he decide to move forward, that decision will be made at the appropriate time,” she said.

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