Friday, August 21, 2015

Scott Walker’s Immigration Shift Is His Latest Tack to Right

[LP note: It's all about winning. Ethics be damned.]

Republican presidential candidate has a long history of dropping moderate positions in his races

By Reid J. Epstein, WSJ
Aug. 20, 2015 7:02 p.m. ET

In 1993, Scott Walker ran to the right of his rivals on abortion, opposing it in all circumstances, including the life of the mother. In 2006, he changed a long-held position against the death penalty. And in 2010, in a matter of hours, he flipped from opposing to supporting an Arizona crackdown on immigrants.

At each step in the Wisconsin governor’s career, he has run against Republican opponents with one overriding strategy: Never letting anybody get to the right of him. That helps explain his move this week to instantly embrace the toughest position on immigration after Republican presidential primary opponent Donald Trump released his policy platform on the matter.

After slipping in polls in must-win Iowa, Mr. Walker is positioning his campaign to compete with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the slice of the GOP electorate angry with everyone in Washington. It’s a plan with one big condition attached. For it to work, Mr. Trump will need to alienate those voters, who are rallying to him, or quit the race.

“He understands the anger that people are feeling out there and the reason why Donald Trump is catching on the last six weeks,” said Jonathan Burkan, a Walker fundraising bundler who participated in a Monday conference call in which the governor sought to reassure jittery supporters by promising to show more passion on the stump.

(More here.)

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