Scott Walker

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Scott Walker is the current Governor of Wisconsin. Before taking office, Walker served in the Wisconsin State Assembly since the age of 25, and then as the Milwaukee County Executive. He took office in 2011, and was soon launched him into the national spotlight when his budget changed the collective bargaining rights of state Union workers – changes which included limiting pay raises, eliminating the ability of public unions to collectively bargain over pensions and healthcare, ending automatic union dues collection, and requiring public unions to recertify annually. The “union busting” measures led to a recall election, which Walker won, making him the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall. Walker was elected to a second term in 2014. He announced his campaign for the 2016 Republican Nomination in July 2015 via social media.

On the Issues

AAI tracks statements, non-statements, and the track records of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most. Click on an issue to read what Scott Walker has said on the campaign trail.


Foreign Policy     

Domestic Policy


U.S. Role in the Middle East 

Voting Rights 


U.S. Response to ISIL

Civil Rights + Civil Liberties








Community Policing




Bigoted Speech


Iran Negotiations 

Immigration Reform

Key Advisors

  • Mike Grebe: Campaign Chairman. Grebe has been a prominent political figure in Wisconsin for decades, and is credited with reviving the GOP in the once-progressive-leaning state. He has chaired Governor Walker’s gubernatorial campaigns, including the 2012 recall fight. He also served of the general counsel of the RNC due to his previous experience running Milwaukee’s largest law firm. He also chaired Ronald Reagan’s Wisconsin campaign in 1984.
  • Mike Gallagher: Foreign Policy Advisor. He is a professional staffer for Senate Foreign Relations Committee working on Middle East, North Africa and counterterrorism issues. He is a former Captain in the Marine Corps, with two tours of duty in the Al-Anbar province or Iraq, commanding military intelligence units. He is also a PHD student at Georgetown University. 

Super Pac Support: Unintimidated PAC


The U.S. Role in the Middle East

"To be clear, what I said the other day was that we need to lift the political restrictions that are already in play. Barack Obama's administration has put political restrictions on the military personnel already in Iraq. We need to lift those and then we need to listen to our military experts, not the political forces in the White House, but our military experts about how many more we sent in. And we certainly shouldn't have a commander-in-chief who sends a message to our adversaries as to how far we're going to go, and how far we're willing to fight, so I'm not putting a troop number." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

“We have people in Iraq right now in the military, over 3,000 troops. It’s not a question of sending more in. It’s about empowering them to unleash the power of the United States military” (August 2015, NBC interview)

"Our efforts in Syria and Iraq must be part of a broader U.S.-led regional coalition with real buy in and ironclad guarantees from our allies that they will help us shoulder this burden." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“What about then, we need to focus on the ones we have. You look at Egypt, probably the best relationship we’ve had in Israel, at least in my lifetime, incredibly important. You look at the Saudis — in fact, earlier this year, I met with Saudi leaders, and leaders from the United Arab Emirates, and I asked them what’s the greatest challenge in the world today? Set aside the Iran deal. They said it’s the disengagement of America. We are leading from behind under the Obama-Clinton doctrine — America’s a great country. We need to stand up and start leading again, and we need to have allies, not just in Israel, but throughout the Persian Gulf.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“I’m not advocating that we become the world’s policeman or that we become nation builders, but I do think we need to have a stronger presence in the world and that will make us more safe.” (August 2015, Bloomberg News)

“For all of our allies in the region, Arab as well as Israeli, Iran’s nuclear ambitions are just one part of its broader assault on the regional order, an order that depends on U.S. leadership. If the president continues to call into doubt our friendship with Israel while seeking rapprochement with Iran, he will harm more than just the U.S.–Israeli relationship. He will undermine the trust of our remaining friends and partners in the Middle East. In addition to warm relations with Israel, we also need the cooperation of the Sunni Arab states in order to destroy radical Islamic terrorists and stabilize the region, and the Sunni Arab states are as threatened by Iran’s deadly designs as Israel is.” (March 2015, National Review)

U.S. Response to ISIL

"What I'm saying is lift the political restrictions. When you do that, you empower our military personnel already there to work with the Kurd and the Sunni allies, to reclaim the territory taken by ISIS. And to do so in a way that allows that ISIS doesn't go back in Syria, as we were just talking about here." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

"We need to secure our homeland...radical Islamic terrorists and extremists are most likely using the same trails into our homeland as the drug cartels, the weapons smugglers, and the human traffickers." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamist terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads, and ultimately will send the message that we will protect American soil but do not, do not, take this upon freedom loving people anywhere else in this world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” (February 2015, Huffington Post)

“You got to take them out entirely...They are like a virus in your computer that takes out your whole computer. If you don’t weed it out you’re just gonna be back at it again more and more.” (February 2015, Huffington Post)


“No, we shouldn’t be taking on any more Syrian refugees right now. In the last year, America has received almost 70,000 refugees, of which nearly 2,000 are from Syria. We’ve spent something like $4 billion in humanitarian relief in terms of helping the situation in Syria. So, we’re doing more than any country in the world and it’s got to be clear that the problem that has to be addressed is not the refugee issue that’s a symptom, the real problem is this administration fails to deal with taking on ISIS." (September 2015, Wisconsin Public Radio

When asked if the US should be accepting more Syrian refugees and what, if elected, would be his policy towards asylum seekers, Walker responded, “What we should be doing is dealing with ISIS. Until we start dealing directly with ISIS, we’re avoiding the core of the problem. The problem is that ISIS is running amok in these parts of the world. The United States needs to step up and deal with it.” (September 2015, New Hampshire press gaggle)

"As long as ISIS has a safe haven in Syria, it will continue to have a powerful force in Iraq. Because the administration ran away from its red line, Syria's tyrant Assad is still in power and is a magnet for radical islamic terrorism. No strategy to defeat ISIS can succeed while Assad is still in power and Iran, his patron, has a base of operations in Damascus...We must to more to recruit and support fighters in Syrian who oppose both ISIS and Assad...a no-fly zone enforced by America and its allies would dramatically enhance this campaign on the ground." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

"President Obama's meek response to this atrocity [referring to Assad's use of chemical weapons] sent a devastatingly clear message of weakness to our enemies: you will not pay a price for defying our commander-in-chief. We need new leadership, leadership that will restor American credibility in the world." (August 2015, @ScottWalker)


"I will restore our alliance with Israel, the shining democracy of the Middle East. There should be no daylight between us." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“First, the president and his advisers must treat the Prime Minister of a longstanding ally with the respect that he deserves and stop playing politics. The second step is for the United States and Israel to work out parameters of a comprehensive nuclear agreement that are acceptable to both sides.” (March 2015, National Review)


 No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.

Iran Nuclear Deal 

"Unlike others I don't need years to mull this over. I don't need to appoint a cabinet or consult a committee. Anybody who doesn't know today that the Iran deal is a bad deal is not ready to be Commander in Chief. I am ready to be Commander in Chief on day 1." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“Well, first off, let's remember. I still remember, as a kid, tying a yellow ribbon around a tree in front of my house during the 444 days that Iran held 52 Americans hostage. Iran is not a place we should be doing business with. To me, you terminate the deal on day one, you reinstate the sanctions authorized by Congress, you go to Congress and put in place even more crippling sanctions in place, and then you convince our allies to do the same. This is not just bad with Iran, this is bad with ISIS. It is tied together, and, once and for all, we need a leader who's gonna stand up and do something about it.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate

"In order to ensure the safety of America and our allies, the next president must restore bipartisan and international opposition to Iran’s nuclear program while standing with our allies to roll back Iran’s destructive influence across the Middle East.”" (July 2015,

“As president, on my very first day going forward, I would pull back, I would terminate that bad deal with Iran completely on day one. I would then put in place crippling economic sanctions against Iran, and I’d convince our allies to do the same. This is not a country we should be doing business with.” (July 2015, Salon)

 “This deal is likely to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state and provide the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with billions of dollars in sanctions relief.” (March 2015, National Review)

Voting Rights

Scott Walker signed Act 23, a voter ID law in Wisconsin. The voter ID law was approved by Wisconsin's legislature in 2011, but shortly after a state judge blocked its implementation and a federal judge declared it unconstitutional. However, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, and so the law was upheld until October 9, 2014, when the US Supreme court vacated the stay imposed by the Seventh Circuit, and thus temporarily barred the state from implementing the voter id law, due to the fact that absentee ballots were sent out without any notation that proof of photo identification must be submitted. This stay was in effect until March 23, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law. (March 2015, CNN)

"That's something that I feel Hillary Clinton's opposition to puts her out of touch with mainstream Americans. Pulling out a photo ID is a perfectly logical and common sense thing to do."(June 2015, CNN)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

 No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.


"The FBI is investigating ISIS in all 50 states. We need to restore counterterrorism and surveillance programs. Invest heavily into cyber tools and improve intelligence and law enforcement cooperation to catch terrorists before they strike." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“We need to have a responsible way that is legal and constitutional, but a way that we can make sure that if someone is an enemy combatant, or aligned with an enemy combatant, the United States and the people of this great country, we’ve got to have the tools we need to prevent another act from happening.”(May 2015, Fox News)

“I would prefer to have something closer to the Patriot Act intact…we need to be able to gain access to information that would help assist us.” (June 2015, The Nation)

Community Policing

“Do we have an issue in this country that we have to deal with when it comes to race? Absolutely. But we shouldn’t confuse that into somehow thinking that that means we shouldn’t treat our law enforcement professionals as the great men and women that they are. Every leader we have — at the local level, the state level, all the way up to the president of the United States, for that matter anyone in the clergy and business and anywhere else — needs to step up and say that is wrong. The men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing, every day. All the time. they protect us. We need to have their back. As president, I will have their back every single day.” (September 2015, Heritage Action forum)

"In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric. Instead of hope and change, we’ve seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat. In Wisconsin we acted to protect both police officers and citizens through a first-in-the-nation law that requires an independent investigation when a suspect dies in police custody. And I will continue to support efforts to ensure officers receive proper training at the local level to help make sure force is only used in appropriate circumstances." (September 2015, Hot Air op-ed)

“People being incarcerated for relatively low offenses is not a significant issue in the state of Wisconsin,”(June 2015, the Daily Beast)

Well, I think the most important thing we can do when it comes to policing -- it's something you've had a guest on who's a friend of mine Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark, who's talked to me about this many times in the past -- it's about training. It's about making sure that law enforcement professionals, not only in the way in to their positions but all the way through their time, have the proper training, particularly when it comes to the use of force. And that we protect and stand up and support those men and women who are doing their jobs in law enforcement. And for the very few that don't, that there are consequences to show that we treat everyone the same here in America.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use

*The Arab American Institute is leading a campaign to hold public officials accountable for their bigoted rhetoric this election cycle. Join us by signing our Pledge to Combat Bigotry, and use #NoBigotry on social media to hold candidates accountable and thank candidates who stand against it.*

"Trump's personal attacks against @CarlyFiorina are plain inappropriate and wrong. It's time for these shameless attacks to end. - SW" (September 2015, @ScottWalker)

"After years of division under President Obama, America needs a leader who will seek to unite all Americans. Instead of focusing on what divides us, we need to concentrate on what brings us together. No law enforcement officer should fear to do their job the way he or she was trained to do it, and no law-abiding citizen should fear for their safety from those sworn to protect us...We need to change the tone in America from chants and rallies that fixate on racial division and instead follow the example of the families of the victims of the Charleston shooting, who showed us the best path forward is through unity. As president, that’s what I’m going to do to make us a united America once again." (September 2015, Hot Air op-ed)

"ISIS is a perversion of Sunni Islam." (August 2015, South Carolina speech)

“It is a war against not only America and Israel, it’s a war against Christians, it’s a war against Jews, it’s a war against even the handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don’t share the radical beliefs that these radical Islamic terrorists have..." (August 2015, New Hampshire campaign event)

“If you’re fighting a war, you’ve gotta identify who the enemy is loud and clear.  We’ve said it repeatedly, it’s radical Islamic terrorism, it is a war not against only America and Israel, it’s a war against Christians, it’s a war against Jews, it’s a war against even the handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don’t share the radical beliefs that these radical Islamic terrorists have.” (August 2015, Campaign stop in Derry, NH)

Immigration Reform

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States… are citizens of the United States...[question from interviewer: 'You're not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment?'] No, my point is any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry." (August 2015, ABC's This Week)

Question from reporter 'We should end birthright citizenship?', Walker responded, "Yeah, to me, it’s about enforcing the laws in this country. And I’ve been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it’s important to send a message that we’re going to enforce the laws — no matter how people come here, we’re going to enforce the laws in this country." (August 2015, Iowa State Fair)

“We need to secure the border. I think we need to enforce the legal system. I’m not for amnesty. I’m not an advocate of the plans that have been pushed here in Washington.” (February 2015, Politico)

“The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that's based on, first and foremost, protecting American workers and American wages.” (April 2014, Washington Post)

"We must secure the border, enforce our laws and ensure our legal immigration system prioritizes working families and wages." (August 2015, @ScottWalker)

“I believe we need to secure the border. I've been to the border with Governor Abbott in Texas and others, seeing the problems that they have there. There is international criminal organizations penetrating our southern based borders, and we need to do something about it. Secure the border, enforce the law, no amnesty, and go forward with the legal immigration system that gives priority to American working families and wages.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“I was in Israel earlier this year, they built a 500-mile fence and they have it stacked and it’s lowered terrorist attacks in that region by about 90-plus percent. We need to do the same along our border, we’ve obviously got a bigger border, about four times that, but we’re a country that should be able to hold that,” (August 2015, buzzfeed