Scott Walker of Wisconsin is busy doing damage control after making some really controversial, or rather, offensive, remarks at CPAC. Specifically, he answered a question about ISIS with, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” He faced a huge backlash for that remark, and appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” trying to clarify that.
Governor, isn’t there a big difference between protesters and terrorists?
To which Walker replied:
There is absolutely, and I made that clear and I want to make it clear right now. I’m not comparing those two entities. What I meant was it’s about leadership, and the leadership we provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably the most difficult of any governor in the country, and maybe, in recent times.
To me, I apply that to saying, ‘If I were to run and if I were to win and be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what’s necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.’
What kind of leadership is he even talking about? He’s still doing the same thing. He’s still saying that taking on non-violent protesters is like taking on ISIS. How does stripping state workers of collective bargaining rights, and dealing with the resulting protest (which is what he was talking about), require the same leadership as dealing with ISIS?
It’s not even the same kind of thinking. Walker doesn’t have to worry about not knowing where all the protesters are, and how their recruitment campaigns could threaten the whole country. He doesn’t have to worry that protesters are going to kidnap someone’s family and hold them for ransom, or burn them alive. He doesn’t have to wonder if there’s a protester cell operating mere miles from him, and growing bigger. He doesn’t have to figure out where all the protesters’ cells are all over the world, and how they’re able to keep doing what they do. He doesn’t have to try and figure out the best military response to protesters fighting to overthrow governments, or whether even doing so is a good idea, foreign-policywise. How does Walker not get this?
The backlash that he faced included a response the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, which said, in a petition on their site:
Gov. Walker owes the workers of Wisconsin an apology. When asked how he would handle the radical Islamic terrorists organization ISIS at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., Gov. Walker stated: ‘If I can take on the 100,000 of protestors, I can do the same across the world.’
We are not ISIS. The hundreds of thousands of students, workers, veterans, grandmothers, aunts and uncles and children who came to Madison to stand together for worker rights are not terrorists.
To compare hard-working men and women who work for a living to terrorists is a disgrace. Coming together to peacefully protest for union rights and a better Wisconsin is not an act of terror.
They’re more right than Walker ever will be on this. The only way he can salvage this situation now is to say he knows he was wrong to make the comparison, and he’s sorry for demonizing the hard-working men and women of the state he leads this way. What he’s doing right now is just backpedaling, and refusing to take responsibility for such an egregious comparison.
Watch Walker’s furious backpedaling here:
Featured image via video screen capture