Scott Walker’s awkward bromance for Paul Ryan on Meet the Press

walker ryan bromance

Backup link to video

Warning: When you watch a show like this, you can feel your braincells dying. It’s like opening a hole in your skull and pouring pop rocks inside. The transcript is at the end of my notes for your convenience.

Old Guv Dead Eyes appeared on Meet the Press with David “Doormat” Gregory presiding. This Sunday’s appearance was intended to
* Hawk Walker’s book
* Broadcast Walker’s bromance with Paul Ryan
* Quell the anger of the Tea Party base which isn’t happy to “embrace the suck” of Ryan’s budget deal
* Broadcast that Walker is open to accepting expanded Medicaid money for Badgercare and Badgercare Plus under negotiated terms
* Disparage Obamacare
* Make Walker look like a moderate instead of a right wing Christian idealogue who drowns public services, kneels before corporate kings, and sics his Palace Guard upon singers

My viewing notes:
David Gregory had to ask Scott Walker THREE TIMES what his response was to Marco Rubio calling the House budget deal, “Unamerican and unconservative”.

Walker’s 1st and 2nd responses were basically,
“Blah blah, Paul Ryan shows such leadership, blah blah, Paul Ryan is like a handsome, dreamy governor, blah blah…”

Gregory finally interrupted Walker to say,
“Right but my question is do you think this is a good idea. We know you like Paul Ryan.
You guys are from Wisconsin and he’s showing leadership here, but do you think THIS is a good idea.”

To which Walker offered,
“I do.”
[GASP. AN ANSWER – which happens to sound like a wedding vow.]

Then Walker’s gets as close as he’s ever going to get to saying the Tea Party can’t shut down the federal government and expect to win in 2014.:

“I think it’s a good idea to go forward but I also think we need to reinforce why races like the one we’re going to have in Arkansas and Louisiana and North Carolina and Alaska and others across the country are SO important.”

“If you’re going to bring conservative activists to the table they have to this for what it is and it’s really a big wake up call for the fact that Republicans and in particular grassroots activists want to see a stronger budget in the future we’ve gotta have some help in the United States Senate.”


Next Gregory asks about Obamacare, and in the ensuing dialog between Gregory and Walker I realize they are calling healthcare networks “exchanges”. This is like hearing 80-year-olds speak of the internet tubes minus any cuteness.

Gregory says “you seem to be doing something different in your state where you take those federal subsidies and allow people to go directly to the insurance companies.”

He says this as if this isn’t a change that has to get a federal waiver and as if this is not going to add up to undercutting what little protections Obamacare provides people seeking healthcare.

A preschooler would do a better job at this interview because a preschooler would at least be both curious and would ask about things he has some authority in. A preschool interviewer could ask, “Why are your eyes so funny?” and at least throw Walker off of his smarmy talking points.

Walker spews gibberish about Obamacare in response to Gregory such as,

“And ultimately, we’re making the case to the federal government that people in many of our counties, where there are qualified health plans that aren’t in the exchanges, that if they can buy into those on their own they should get the subsidy for that.”

What would be a “qualified” plan that is not already in a network?
Are we to assume he means insurance plans that don’t meet the standards set by Obamacare?

*pop. pop.*  That’s the sound of more of my brain cells dying.

That’s it. I’m losing I.Q. points as I type. I’m outta here.
If you’d like to read the transcript, it’s copied and pasted below.

We are back here on Sunday morning. It’s been a familiar political campaign strategy: You run as a Washington outsider who can actually get things done. A lot of energy around GOP governors right now as we think about 2016, among them Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker. He believes the best choice for the next president will be a governor from outside D.C. Is he talking about himself?
He’s out with a new book, Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge, and a big part of that story took place in the summer of 2012 when Walker became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. Governor Walker is in Madison this morning. Welcome back to Meet the Press, Governor.
Great to be with you, David. Thank you.

So let me ask you about the big debate here in Washington, which is about the budget. I want to just remind people what we’re talking about, this deal: No government shutdowns for two years. Deficit reduction of $23 billion, that’s over ten years, so it’s not a lot. Reduces the amount of spending cuts, in other words allow for more spending in some areas, and reduces cost-of-living increases for military retirees.
So what I thought was significant about this is, yes, they’re talking, it’s more positive, government’s working a little bit better. But the reaction on the right’s been pretty furious. Marco Rubio calling it un-American and un-conservative. What do you say?

Well, two things come to mind. One, I think it shows the incredible leadership and respect that Paul Ryan brings to the table. He’s one of those guys that kind of steps out of the role of member of Congress and really stepped up to provide some leadership.
But I think for those of us who believe the federal government’s too big, too intrusive, too involved in our lives, what it tells us is if we really want a budget deal we can wrap our arms around, we’re going to have to win in the 2014 elections, particularly in key Senate races. And things are much different a year from now if Republicans are in charge of the Senate.

Do you support this deal now? Do you think it was the right thing for Republicans to do now, under these circumstances?

Well, again, that’s why I give Paul Ryan so much credit for his leadership. I think that’s why hear few if any criticisms against Paul himself because people understand–

Right, but my question is do you think this is a good idea? I mean, we know you like Paul Ryan, you guys are from Wisconsin and he’s been showing leadership here. But do you think this is a good idea?

I do. I think it is good to go forward. But I also think we have to reinforce why, you know, races like the one we’re going to have in Arkansas and Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska, and others across the country, are so important.
If you’re going to bring conservative activists to the table, they have to see this for what it is. And it’s really a big wakeup call for the fact that if Republicans, in particular grassroots activists, want to see a stronger budget in the future, we’ve got to have some help in the United States Senate.

So let me ask you, as a governor dealing with the Affordable Care Act, you’ve got over 5,000 people who’ve signed up via the exchanges in your state. Now, presumably you’d like to see the law go away, as a conservative, and yet you seem to be doing something different in your state where you take those federal subsidies and allow people to go directly to the insurance companies. Is that a vote of support at some level for Obamacare?

No, in my case, in this state, obviously I did everything in my power. I allowed my attorney general on the first day I took office to join the federal lawsuit. I didn’t take the state exchange, I didn’t take the Medicaid expansion. But by the same token, I thought I wasn’t going to let my citizens suffer, so we found a way for the first time in our state’s history to cover everyone living in poverty, to transition people above poverty into the marketplace.
And ultimately, we’re making the case to the federal government that people in many of our counties, where there are qualified health plans that aren’t in the exchanges, that if they can buy into those on their own they should get the subsidy for that.
But in the long haul, I would very much prefer to have a patient-centered plan. I think the American people, and clearly people here in my state, deserve to have health care and health decisions made by themselves and their families and not be predestined by the federal government. So I think that would be a much better alternative.

How does the Affordable Care Act affect 2014? If we get into the new year, there’s more sign-ups, it’s going more smoothly, is it a losing issue for Republicans?

Oh, I still think it is. I mean, this is all relative. I mean, the fact that the federal website is actually finally starting to work, I don’t know that that’s a ringing endorsement of Obamacare as a whole. Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, front page of our largest paper here in the State of Wisconsin, talks about the negative impact of Obamacare on small businesses all across our state where people are rushing out this December to renew their health insurance policies to avoid 25-30% or, in some cases, up to 50-60% increases for small businesses’ insurance premiums.
I don’t know about you, but in my state, the big thing I’ve heard from folks is overwhelmingly from small businesses who said they wanted access to affordable health care. If anything, the facts are showing it’s anything but affordable in our state, and I think that’s going to be a problem not just for health care, and not just for the policy, but what it means to the economy. It’s tough to recover when so many small businesses are feeling the heat of rising premiums that the Affordable Care Act only exacerbates.

Let me ask you about 2016 in this context. I want to go back to what you said, heralding the leadership of Chairman Paul Ryan. Is this the model for the Republican Party to win national elections again, to trim your sails, to find common ground where it exists with the Democrats so that you can actually accomplish something? Is that the blueprint for how to win power again?

Well, I think leadership in general is. It’s what Paul’s tried to do in Washington; it’s what 30 Republican governors are doing all across America. I point out in my book that austerity is not the answer. I think that’s oftentimes been the focal point of Republicans nationally, but in the states, in 30 states including most of the battleground states Barack Obama carried in the last two elections, Republicans are in charge as governors because we’re talking about things that are about reform, not about austerity. We’re talking about them in ways that are relevant, and we’re ultimately showing we have the courage to act on them. And Paul is one of those rare people in Washington who’s acting more like a governor than just a member of Congress.

Quickly, a lot of attention to Governor Chris Christie and his tough style, his brash style, blunt style, take on critics often in some colorful language. You had this to say (the Associated Press a little bit earlier this fall): “I just have a Midwestern filter, that’s the difference. I’m willing to speak out but I’m not going to call you an idiot. I’m just going to say that’s a ridiculous question and move on.” You know, the presidency, it’s said, goes through the Midwest. Is Midwestern nice the ticket to the presidency over somebody like a Chris Christie?

Well, I don’t know so much about style. I think the substance of it, whether it’s Chris, or Bobby Jindal, or John Kasich, or Susana Martinez, or Nikki Haley, Rick–

You can’t name all the Republicans.

Yes. I think in the end, there’s some pretty good, outspoken folks out there that want to get things done, and that’s what people want. They want candor. Whether it’s with a Midwestern filter or not, I think they want candor and they want proven performers. And that’s what you get out of Republican governors.

All right, Governor Scott Walker, thanks so much. Good to talk to you.
Good to be with you, David.


4 thoughts on “Scott Walker’s awkward bromance for Paul Ryan on Meet the Press

  1. Thanks for the warning and the notes and transcript. I for one, am not able to listen to the governor’s voice.

    After reading the transcript, it is obvious Walker is clueless, and he thinks/speaks like a high school drop out, not a governor.

  2. The problem with demonizing only the Tea Party has always been that other Republicans can portray themselves as reasonable moderates by contrast, even though they are also nutcases, and thereby move the political “center” ever more to the right. We should stick to issues and policies rather than merely electoral politics, and measure all politicians by our values–Tea Party, Republicans, and yes, even Democrats.

    • Interesting that you chide me for not calling out Democrats right after I called Nancy Pelosi on “embracing the suck”!
      You also must be missing the times when I’ve criticized Obamacare in this blog? And you missed the post in which I mention that I’m not going to share anything – NOT ANYTHING – about O-care on facebook anymore because my friends (and they are on ‘the left’) are essentially too stubborn to even read anything on the topic. They’re rather spew talking points. [I might do a reversal on that but just disable comments on O-care facebook posts]
      W.R.T. the issues/policies focus as opposed to the electoral game, I am in fact trying to veer a bit more into the middle of the two areas. Moving far away from talk of electoral politics would make life MUCH, MUCH easier for me! A bit of escapism. In reality there is no escape. People who are elected get our tax dollars and they run our country. Also, there is no such thing as this either/or proposition anyway. A binary world is only a shared figment of many imaginations (Think God is Red by Vine Deloria).

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