State Politics

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he’ll campaign with Pat McCrory ‘plenty’

Gov. Scott Walker on Melania Trump speech plagiarism allegations: "She's not the candidate"

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention about Melania Trump's opening night speech July 18 and addresses questions about if it plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 address at the Democratic National C
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention about Melania Trump's opening night speech July 18 and addresses questions about if it plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 address at the Democratic National C

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in North Carolina next week to campaign for fellow Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, he told the state’s Republican National Convention delegates Wednesday.

Highlighting the importance of North Carolina as a key swing state this year, Walker came to the N.C. delegation’s hotel in a Cleveland suburb for a breakfast speech. The former presidential candidate is scheduled to speak Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.

“We’re going to make sure that your governor – who’s been under attack more since anybody except me – gets re-elected,” Walker said, referring to the 2012 recall election when he successfully defeated an effort to remove him from office. “I’m going to be back plenty more times.”

Walker said he’ll campaign for McCrory on Tuesday and Wednesday. And he noted that his son, Matt Walker, was recently hired as the McCrory campaign’s digital director. Scott Walker said Matt is “my best connection to North Carolina these days.”

The Wisconsin governor also had praise for the Raleigh restaurant scene, particularly chef Ashley Christensen’s downtown eatery Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. He said the fried chicken there is “unbelievable.”

“I’d be about 200 pounds bigger if I lived in Raleigh,” he said.

Walker called on Republicans to unite behind presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was Walker’s rival a year ago. Once considered a leading contender, Walker dropped out in September and called on other candidates to do the same so that Trump wouldn’t be the nominee.

“Of course he wasn’t my first pick – I was my first pick,” Walker said of Trump on Wednesday. “Donald J. Trump is better than Hillary Clinton. There are a lot of friends of mine that have been wringing their hands ... a vote this November for anyone other than Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton, and that is fundamentally unacceptable.”

Walker said reluctant Republicans need to consider the long-term impact that a Clinton presidency would have on the Supreme Court. “Three words should scare any of us as conservatives: Justice Elizabeth Warren,” he said, referring to the Democratic senator from Massachusetts.

“We can’t wait four years to say ‘we’ll get them the next time,’ ” Walker said. “There is too much at stake. ... I would not give Hillary Clinton the password to my iPhone, let alone access to classified information.”

Walker didn’t spend much of his speech praising Trump specifically. He had more to say about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who’s running as Trump’s vice presidential candidate. Pence is also scheduled to speak to the convention Wednesday night.

“Mike Pence is one of my closest friends,” he said. “We text each other a couple times a week. He is a tremendous governor, but more importantly, he’s a believer who has a moral compass.”

News & Observer political writer Colin Campbell reports on Sen. Richard Burr's announcement that he will not run again after this election and other news from the NC delegation at the Republican National Convention.

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter

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