Former Wisconsin governor says Republicans should do more outreach during Santa Barbara speech
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was in Santa Barbara Friday to give a speech about “winning the long game” — or reaching younger people with conservative messages.
Mr. Walker, now the president of Young America’s Foundation, addressed a roomful of supporters Friday at the nonprofit’s Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, decrying what he perceived as the state of education across the country.
The former Republican governor recalled an anecdote of elementary schools learning about communism and an Iowa school district partnering with Black Lives Matter on a project.
“Winning the long game requires more, younger and better. We’ve got to get to more students,” Mr. Walker said.
His plan included getting YAF or YAF-affiliated groups to more campuses, reaching younger students or parents of elementary schools and doing “an even better job of articulating, communicating our conservative message.”
“If we do those things, we win,” Mr. Walker said.
Mr. Walker, 54, addressed supporters as part of the Wendy P. McCaw Roundtable series. He took over as YAF’s president in February 2021.
His message was about a “leap of faith” to start “taking back schools and cultures and communications.”
“I think if we shut down our colleges, we’d do more to stop the spread of communism than we would the spread of COVID,” Mr. Walker said.
Throughout his speech, the former Republican governor heaped praise on the namesake of YAF’s nonprofit, President Ronald Reagan. He credited President Reagan with ending communism in certain parts of the world and utilizing certain strategies, like polling, to bring his message to voters.
But he also decried President Bill Clinton, who served from 1993 to 2001, questioning his morals while also contending he wouldn’t be “radical” enough for the Democratic Party today.
Mr. Walker served as Wisconsin’s governor from 2011 to 2019, surviving a recall election following his support of legislation (which ultimately became law) curtailing collective-bargaining rights for most public sector workers.
Mr. Walker unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination for president in 2016 and was defeated in his gubernatorial re-election effort by Democrat Tony Evers.
Wendy McCaw is co-publisher of the News-Press.