Scott Walker announces run for president; AFL-CIO issues most concise and accurate response ever

After accidentally tweeting out his intentions to run for president last Friday, Scott Walker made his 2016 candidacy official today. The Wisconsin governor has, for all intents and purposes, been running for president for quite some time. This being the case, he bypassed the high-profile campaign launch and instead chose to tweet out his announcement:

Much will be written about Walker this week in the wake of his announcement. People will note his disastrous record in Wisconsin — his assaults on union rights, reproductive health, higher education, ballot access and so on — along with the fact that the particularly nasty parts of this disastrous record are the very things that make him a serious contender in the Republican primary.

Scott Walker, via Wikimedia Commons

Scott Walker, via Wikimedia Commons

Scott Walker was angling to consolidate the Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party long before Trump started making noises about throwing his hat in the ring. Months before Trump took control of the GOP’s narrative by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, Walker compared union workers — American citizens! — to ISIS militants. He has delayed his presidential announcement in order to push through a state budget seemingly designed to hurt low-income workers, restrict scientific inquiry and dominate women as much as humanly possible.

These rhetorical and legislative moves aren’t “mistakes,” as Walker’s ISIS comments were written off as. They embody Walker’s overall strategy for 2016. Walker’s path to victory hinges on being the last hard-line conservative standing. He doesn’t win by being the most “electable” Republican; he wins by raising enough Koch money to outlast Trump, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee in order to be the archconservative standard-bearer in a showdown with Jeb Bush and perhaps Marco Rubio, if the Florida senator is still around after Super Tuesday.

As FiveThirtyEight pointed out today, Walker’s ideology is both perfectly matched with the Republican electorate and would make him the most conservative Republican nominee since Reagan in 1980. The GOP has been steadily marching to the right since the mid-70’s. It is primed for a candidate who will not only bust unions, subjugate women and change election rules to benefit Republicans, but will punch liberals in the mouth while they do it.

So it was fitting for AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to sum all of these sentiments up in a one-sentence press release issued earlier today: “Scott Walker is a national disgrace.”

That’s pretty much all that needs to be said.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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