MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he is seriously considering running for president because he sees gaps in the field of likely Republican candidates, and that he doesn’t have a problem with being branded as bland or uncharismatic.
Walker surprised many critics with an energetic, well-received address at a conservative summit in Iowa over the weekend. On Tuesday, Walker announced the formation of Our American Revival, a tax-exempt group that can raise unlimited amounts of money to help boost a potential presidential run, released a campaign-style video and launched a website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Walker told reporters in Racine, Wisconsin, that he’s setting up the committee to see if his ideas resonate with voters. He also said he planned trips to important primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida in the coming weeks and months.
“If we see that’s a message that resonates, that would probably encourage us to go forward,” Walker said.
Walker said voters want the next president to be someone who hasn’t served in Washington, a fresh face with a proven record. He took a dig at potential Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, as well as Democrat Hillary Clinton, without mentioning any of them by name.
“They want new, fresh leadership, particularly if Republicans are going to take on a candidate from the past,” Walker said of voters. “I think increasingly people believe they need a candidate from the future, not a name from the past to take on a name from the past.”
During an earlier interview on a Milwaukee radio station, Walker spoke about the Republican field that’s shaping up. In assessing who is stepping up to address the country’s problems, “I see a lot of good people out there, but I see gaps,” the governor said.
Walker also said he was fine with being viewed as lacking charisma.
“The media is going to peg any prospective candidate with a tag,” said Walker, a 47-year old son of a preacher. “I’d rather have bland or uncharismatic than dumb or ignorant, or corrupt or any of the other things that they could label other would-be candidates out there, or old, for that matter.”
SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press