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Friday, July 17, 2015

 2:47 PM 

Walker makes Iowa debut as presidential candidate

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Scott Walker today greeted Iowa for the first time as a declared presidential candidate.

Walker spoke to about 200 people in a conference room at Modern Woodmen Park, the home field for The Quad Cities River Bandits minor league baseball team on the banks of the Mississippi River. After requesting a moment of silence in honor of the Marines who were shot in Chattanooga, Tenn., yesterday, Walker hit on many topics common to his speeches: expanding the changes he made in Wisconsin to the rest of the country, building the U.S. military and repealing the Affordable Care Act

But he began with something new to those who have listened to his prior speeches in Iowa.

“I’m Scott Walker,” he said. “I’m running for president. And I’m here to have your votes.”

Walker said the Davenport stop is just the start of his campaign’s Iowa focus, which will take him to all 99 counties in the state. He said his message is that America is a can-do country, and his leadership will get the job done.

He used the battle with unions over Act 10 and his focus on reducing property taxes as examples of his leadership. And he drew a loud round of applause when he talked about de-funding Planned Parenthood and passing voter identification legislation.

“In Washington, they can’t seem to get the job done,” he said. “Well, you know what, it’s not too late. Help is on the way. We can turn this country around going forward.”

His plan for that, he said, includes protecting people from threats abroad and measuring success based on how many people no longer depend on the government. He said, if elected president, he would control federal regulations, such as those enforced by the EPA, “that are like a wet blanket on the American economy.”

Walker also said he would adopt an “all of the above energy policy” that starts with “once and for all approving the Keystone pipeline.”

The crowd also jumped in with applause when Walker touched on education. He said his administration reformed public education in Wisconsin, and he wants that for the entire country.

“And I believe in high standards,” Walker said, “but I believe those standards should be set at the local level. No Common Core, no nationwide school board.”

Walker also hit President Obama for his foreign policy stances.

“We had a president who early this year proclaimed that the greatest threat to future generations is climate change,” Walker said to laughter in the audience. “Mr. President, I respectfully disagree. The greatest threat to future generations is radical Islamic terrorism.”

He also said he would “terminate the bad deal with Iran,” stop Russian aggression and put an end to cyber-attacks from China. He said Israel should be recognized as an ally and the United States needs to close its borders.

Those are some of the reasons he’s running for president, Walker said, but his children are at the heart of his campaign.

“I’m going to fight not just for Matt and Alex,” he said, “I’m going to fight for all of your sons and daughters.”

Listen to the speech

Walker arrived at the event in an RV decorated with his presidential campaign colors and logo. Walker is traveling in the RV with his wife and sons along with a few friends.

-- By Chris Thompson

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