Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker dismissed talk of the 2016 White House race as he promoted his new book Friday—but described an ideal candidate that looks just like him: “An ideal candidate to me would be a current or former governor,” Walker said. “Just because I think governors have executive experience and, more importantly, I think there’s a real sense across America that people want an outsider.”
Walker is hardly the only one these days denying a focus on the White House race, while at the same time describing the perfect candidate as someone a lot like himself. The hopefuls may be playing coy about their own intentions at this early stage, but they’re certainly willing to paint a picture of what the GOP nominee should look like—and if it comes out as a self-portrait, then so be it.
A rundown from the past week:
— Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital With Al Hunt: “What I think the next president should be is someone who’s leading the fight for free-market principles and the Constitution, and someone who’s listening to the American people—not listening to the established politicians.”
— Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at The Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Council, after stating that the nominee did not need to be a governor: “I would like to make sure we get a person who is a standard-bearer who can go the distance,” Ryan said. “I am familiar with what going the distance means, and it means a lot. It is not easy to do.” He added that the nominee should “be strong on principles, inclusive on ideas,” and show people “the full spectrum of conservatism.”
— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also at The Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Council, said the candidate seeking a path to victory in a national race must avoid “focus-group-tested” speeches. “You need someone who’s clear, direct, and authentic and says what they think,” he said.
— Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, at the Republican Governors Association meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.: “When I look at 2016, and I don’t have a candidate that I’m backing, I’m going to be looking not for somebody that says I want to go to Washington, D.C., and run it like I ran where I came from. I want somebody that says I’m going to go to Washington, D.C., and make it more possible for the next person running where I came from to do it with more freedom and flexibility.”
— And finally, give Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., some points for being straightforward: On Monday, he bluntly told Fox News that he thinks Americans want someone like him. “I think they want someone outside of, you know, what’s been going on. For example, someone like myself who has been promoting term limits,” he said. “Someone who says we shouldn’t have, you know, decade after decade longevity up here.
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"Two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have told Bloomberg Politics that the person Kristol has in mind is David French -- whose name the editor of the Weekly Standard floated in the current issue of the magazine.
French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children."
California Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Hillary Clinton today, calling her "the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump." While praising Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign, Brown said "Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee. ... This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun."
In a New York Magazine profile, Hillary Clinton said she still encounters misogyny at her own events: “‘I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.’ I mean, they come to my events and then they say that to me.”
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”