SPOTLIGHT

RGA’s Message: Trump Opponents Are Extreme

Chair Scott Walker carried that message at CPAC on Thursday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday Feb. 23, 2017. (Chet Susslin/National Journal)
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Zach C. Cohen
Feb. 23, 2017, 11:01 a.m.

NA­TION­AL HAR­BOR, Md.—As Demo­crats hope to cap­it­al­ize on Pres­id­ent Trump’s un­pop­ular­ity in cru­cial gov­ernor races and build upon the en­ergy ap­par­ent this week at con­gres­sion­al town halls across the coun­try, Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernors are work­ing to paint Trump’s op­pos­i­tion as too far of a lurch back to the left.

The RGA pro­moted a video this week that showed New Jer­sey Demo­crat Phil Murphy com­par­ing Trump to Ad­olf Hitler, and it pre­vi­ously tar­geted Tom Per­ri­ello of Vir­gin­ia for call­ing Trump a “polit­ic­al and con­sti­tu­tion­al Septem­ber 11.”

RGA Chair Scott Walk­er, who could seek a third term next year as gov­ernor of Wis­con­sin, fol­lowed up on that theme in his re­marks here at CPAC Thursday morn­ing. He men­tioned “stor­ies I see these days around the coun­try where pro­test­ers come en masse to try to dis­rupt pub­lic meet­ings. Where angry mobs come to col­lege cam­puses and try to to stop people from speak­ing.”

Re­fer­ring to the 2011 protests in his state against pub­lic uni­on col­lect­ive bar­gain­ing re­form and the 2012 re­call elec­tion, Walk­er said “been there, seen that” and that he “wasn’t go­ing to let the noise of the pro­test­ers drown out the voices of the ma­jor­ity of people who elec­ted us.”

Walk­er’s pres­ence alone un­der­scored his point: He sur­vived, so will Re­pub­lic­ans.

— Zach C. Co­hen

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