Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took an election victory lap around Washington, fueling speculation that he would enter the GOP’s 2016 presidential contest. This week, another Republican far from the Beltway hinted at the same thing, blasting Washington insiders in the process.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaking on ABC's This Week, dismissed Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as possible candidates in 2016.
"I think it’s got to be an outsider. I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward,” he said.
"All good guys, but … it’s got to be somebody who’s viewed as being exceptionally removed from Washington,” he said.
Walker's comments, along with Christie's last week, reveal another fault line within the Republican Party. The government shutdown exposed the rift between the far right and moderate Republicans. Now, Walker and Christie have exposed the rift between Republicans at the state level and the GOP in Washington. He said Congressional Republicans’ refusal to compromise is a "real problem."
"Republicans at the state level are showing we’re much more optimistic, we’re speaking in terms that are much more relevant to where real voters are at," he said.
Walker also said that he is open to a presidential run, refusing to "rule anything out."
For Dems, the Conversation is Still Obamacare
Meanwhile, Democrats are split on their defense of Obamacare. Ranking House Democrat Nancy Pelosi urged the public to give the health care law more time before giving up on it.
“I don’t think you can tell what will happen next year," Pelosi said when asked [JL1] if Democrats, concerned about keeping their job, would abandon the law during next year's midterms. "I will tell you this: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act.”
She said that the law's implementation "is an issue that has to be dealt with, but it doesn’t mean, ‘oh, this is a political issue so we’re going to run away from it.’”
However, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was far less enthusiastic in her support for the law.
"He should have just been more specific because the point is, if you’re being offered a terrible health care plan, that the minute you get sick, you’re going to have to go into bankruptcy, those plans should never be offered," she said, referring to President Obama's ill-fated "you like it, you keep it" promise.
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