Top Republicans Describe Their Ideal President: Me

Ask a Republican about the GOP’s perfect 2016 candidate, and they’ll read you their résumé.

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 26: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the podium ahead of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 26, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The RNC is scheduled to convene on August 27 and will hold its first full-day session on August 28 as Tropical Storm Isaac threatens disruptions due to its proximity to the Florida peninsula.
National Journal
Julie Sobel
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Julie Sobel
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:34 a.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login