POLITICS

Scott Walker Announces He's Running For President In 2016

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is officially running for president of the United States in 2016.

Walker, a Republican, made the announcement in a tweet on Monday.

He made a formal announcement at an event in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Monday night.

"My record shows that I know how to fight and win. Now, more than ever, we need a president who will fight and win for America," he said.

In his speech, he heralded his anti-union and anti-government platform, waged through controversial laws passed during his tenure as governor.

"Our big, bold reforms in Wisconsin took the power from the big government special interests and put it firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers," he said.

Conservatives have suggested that Walker would make a better general election candidate than other GOP players in the 2016 primary field, pointing out that he has displayed remarkable political resilience. The governor won three elections over the course of just four years, even surviving a recall election, and prevailed by margins larger than what might be expected in a state President Barack Obama won in both 2008 and 2012.

And yet after his re-election in 2014, Walker insisted that he would remain focused on carrying out his second term as governor. In a November 2014 interview with a local station, he said that "you have to be crazy to want to be president," while also taking a swipe at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Whether it’s two years, six years or 20 years from now -- because I think of Hillary Clinton. I could run 20 years from now and still be about the same age as the former Secretary of State is right now," Walker said, adding that the only reason anyone should run for president is "because they feel called to."

"Right now, I still feel called to be the governor of the state of Wisconsin," he said, "and I’m going to do the best job I can over the next four years.”

Walker has argued that voters would look more favorably upon a candidate who has served outside of the gridlock and partisanship that has come to define Washington politics.

And yet the governor's history of working to curb the bargaining power of public sector unions in Wisconsin will immediately make him a top target of labor and progressive groups, who fell short in their attempts to unseat him during his recall and re-election contests. Democratic groups have also closely followed investigations into whether Walker's former campaign aides violated campaign laws.

Before his announcement, Walker had made all the requisite moves for a candidate exploring a potential presidential bid, including publishing a book, making trips to the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire and courting tea party activists and establishment-oriented donors alike.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect Clinton has entered the presidential race.

This article was updated Monday evening with remarks from Walker's announcement speech.

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