Walker Says Immigration Flip-Flop Wasn’t Really a Flip-Flop

Scott Walker was on Fox News’ “Special Report” yesterday, where he faced some pointed questions from host Bret Baier over his stance on immigration.

The governor continued to stand by past comments which suggested he might support further restrictions on legal immigration, though he again declined to provide details on exactly what immigration policies would achieve the protection of American workers and American wages which he has advocated for.  I have already covered this ground previously, so I won’t dwell on it here.

However, when Walker was asked by Baier how voters could trust him on other issues when he had flip-flopped on such an important issue as immigration, Walker responded by denying that his change in stance was a flip-flop at all (starts at 2:10):

There’s not a flip out there.  Years ago when I was asked—more than a decade ago when I was a county official—about something and giving a quick, momentary reaction to that versus in a comment a few years ago as a governor asking a question about it versus actually looking at this issue and saying what is my policy.  A flip would be someone who voted on something and did something different.  These are not votes.  I don’t have any impact on immigration as a governor.  I don’t have any impact as a former county official.  I would be if I were to run and ultimately be elected as president.  And so I’ve spent the time talking to border state governors.  I’ve talked to members of the Senate and the House.  I’ve talked to people who care about this issue all across the country…

So evidently, by Walker’s logic, a politician is only guilty of a flip-flop if he has changed his stance after voting on an issue and not if he simply changes his views on an issue over which he has no control.  Based on these criteria, I suppose Walker might also be able to do a complete about-face on foreign policy or trade policy and escape flip-flop accusations since these were outside of his purview as governor as well.

It’s these types of comments which led The Pulse’s Terry Schilling to argue that Walker is 2016’s version of Mitt Romney.  When a candidate has to resort to such rhetorical acrobatics and non-answers as these, conservatives ought to be wary.

Paul Dupont is a legislative assistant for American Principles in Action.