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Scott Walker Intimidated By Reporters

August 19, 2015

Last Friday the all-news channel I was watching broke into their programming with Donald Trump’s press conference. I am not a fan of his style of politics which to me is akin to sand paper being rubbed on the raw emotions of the body politic. But I will be the first to admit he was not afraid to tangle with the press and respond to every question thrown his way.

On Tuesday I watched in dismay as Hillary Clinton could not—or more likely would not—address forthrightly a series of reporters’ questions concerning the email debacle that has sidetracked her candidacy.  But with pluck and punch Clinton did not duck and hide but instead stood to face the questions and should at least be credited for stepping up to the podium and the cameras.

But what has troubled me most over this week concerning candidates and their dealing with the press is how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is unable to stand on his own two feet to answer their questions.

On Tuesday, Walker’s policy team held a press call with reporters to discuss the Wisconsin governor’s health care plan, as well as his intention to repeal and replace Obamacare. But when reporters tried to submit a question, they were greeted by a press aide who demanded to know what question each reporter intended to ask. 

“Was on Gov. Walker health plan press call. First time as a reporter I’ve ever had my questions pre-screened before I could ask them,” Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal’s health care policy reporter, tweeted after the call.

One of the reasons this nation has such a long campaign season for president is that we want to truly vet the candidate who will lead this country and be the most important person on the world stage. We want to know how they think and will respond to unpredictable events. That includes how they respond to reporters’ questions.

The working press should have probing questions of candidates and demand answers. After all, reporters and the press are essential components of our democracy. To undercut or bypass the press underserves the citizenry the candidates claim to have such an interest in representing.

Walker can tout all he likes about being “unintimidated”.  But we have witnessed yet again that he is not as agile on his feet with reporters as he would like to be when on the national stage.

Walker is not ready for prime time when it comes to off-the-cuff responses as his immirgation comments over the past few days prove. I can understand why his handlers want to protect him from saying things they need to later address in a press release or work to iron out on the campaign trial.  But the people of this country deserve and expect a candidate competent enough to handle questions without needing to have them pre-screened.

One has to wonder if pigs ever fly and Walker should be elected to the Oval Office if Russia’s president will present his talking points in advance so not to blindside Walker?

There is just no getting around the fact Walker is over his head in his quest for the White House and falling further behind as a result.  The way he is now trying to thwart the working press is just one more example of the limitations Walker has of thinking and talking at the same time.

I very much dislike Trump and find Clinton less than forthright but they at least step up and take reporters questions head-on.

6 Comments
  1. August 20, 2015 6:35 PM

    Tom,

    We often disagree–but today we are in alignment. I agree that there has been too much attention to Trump as he not a serious candidate. I would add–need to add–that ‘the media’ includes the producer of lets say “Morning Joe” who knows Trump drives ratings and loads up lots of Trump material for talking about vs. the reporters for newspapers who cover the ‘horse race’ (and should) but also cover and try to pin down issues for the campaign. One of the concerns I have is that we have allowed info-tainment to drive this election cycle and it short changes what are serious consequential issues that we must address. I often thin about how the likes of Cronkite and Huntley/Brinkley would have handled a Trump and they would not have allowed the shallow end of the pool to have the bulk of the air time. Since I am commenting here this whole idea can also be broadened out to include how the three network evening new shows allows weather related stories (as an example) to dominate over 2 minutes of coverage and international stories of merit never get reported on that evening. And then we always have the feel good no-news story at the end that is pure fluff. Anyway…what you said–I agree with.

  2. tom permalink
    August 20, 2015 1:53 PM

    If Walker wants to be president, he should answer questions for the media–liberal or not. We are not electing a liberal or conservative president, but an American president. This being said, it is laughable to praise Clinton for “stepping up.” She seems to avoid the media and ordinary Americans as much as possible.

    Part of the problem here is the media itself which is so desperate for ratings that whores like Trump become “serious” candidates only because the media dangles their latest outrages before the public long enough for the lowest celeb worshiping types to take note. Perhaps the media might better serve the public by designating one day a week to actual questions about policy.

  3. August 20, 2015 1:39 PM

    pkram now is so writing his talking points from someone else that he has even listed The Wall Street Journal as part of the liberal media!

  4. August 20, 2015 11:07 AM

    Walker is so intimidated he is running for President. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton walks out of her press conference after being asked about storing sensitive government info on her private, secret e-mail server.

  5. August 20, 2015 10:58 AM

    Good for Scott Walker he does not have to bow to the liberal media.And the way he handled the hired union thugs that were bussed from Wisconsin to Iowa to try and harass him, he shows he has the moxy to stand up to bullies and will lead this country with a strong message not one where the president bows to Saudi kings.After 8 years of being a leaderless country it will be great in 2016 when we have person in the White House who respects America is not ashamed of America and will once again build America as a world leader instead of a follower like we are now. This country once again needs a conservative leader to bring it back from the edge of destruction.

  6. August 19, 2015 10:42 PM

    Walker has been an unmitigated disaster for the Wisconsin Economy. Our national ranking was upper two thirds on most indicators, now after one term WI trails the bottom. Crony capitalism and pay for play has gutted everything WI was noted for. A Walker presidency will usher in a return to the starving 1930’s

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