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Statement by Governor Scott Walker: Why I'm Running for President

July 13, 2015

I love America.

In the small town I grew up in, our neighbor Claire Congdon was something of a legend. A veteran of both world wars, Mr. Congdon was a model of American patriotism. After serving his country, he came home and never stopped serving his community through church, Legion baseball, Boy Scouts, and as city engineer. To be around him was to share his love of God and Country.

When his American Legion Post helped me attend Badger Boys State, I met a Vietnam veteran from Georgia by the name of Bob Turner. Bob and others who helped run the program shared their love for the USA, and instilled the importance of public service as we seek to protect our freedom.

These patriots and so many others remind us that America has always been a can-do kind of country. We just have a government in Washington that can't seem to get the job done.

It's time for new and fresh leadership. Someone with big, bold ideas from outside of Washington who will listen to the people who go to work, pay their taxes, support their families and balance their budgets.

The good news is that it's not too late to turn things around. I am running for President to change our direction - because I love America.

In Wisconsin, we took on the unions and big-government special interests and won. We cut spending and transformed an inherited $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus. We cut taxes by $2 billion, reducing the burden on individuals, employers and property owners. We enacted lawsuit reform and regulatory reform. We defunded Planned Parenthood and enacted pro-life legislation. We defended the Second Amendment by passing castle doctrine and concealed carry. And we now require a photo ID to vote.

If our conservative reforms can work in a blue state like Wisconsin, they can work anywhere in America.

Let's turn things around in our nation by focusing on three positive goals: reform, growth and safety.

Government closest to the people is usually the best and that's why reform must begin by taking power and money out of Washington and sending it back to states and communities in areas like Medicaid, transportation, workforce development and education.

It's time to stop measuring success by how many people are dependent on the government and measure it by just the opposite. True freedom and prosperity never come from the mighty hand of the government. They come from empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destinies.

Like most Americans, I did not inherit fame and fortune. What I did inherit was something far better: the fundamental belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can do and be anything you want. That's the American Dream.

And helping Americans who are able to work transition from government dependence to true independence through the dignity of work will help more people live that dream. That's why in Wisconsin, able-bodied adults receiving unemployment compensation or food stamps get job training and now assessments for drug use, as well as treatment if they need it. Some have said we're making it harder to get assistance. But in truth, we're making it easier to get a job. And those are the kind of real reforms we can put to work in Washington.

Strong families with two involved parents are central to a child's success. But for too long, the federal government has penalized families through the tax code and structured welfare to discourage the involvement of fathers. It's time we end the marriage penalty and fix the damaging programs that replace parental involvement with government influence. Empowering families also means no national school board and no Common Core.

A strong, pro-growth economic plan will help workers and families earn, save and achieve their piece of the American Dream. To help live that dream, we have a plan to help the people create more jobs and higher wages.

We need to lower the burden on taxpayers to raise take-home pay. We need tax levels that are competitive with other nations to bring back U.S. jobs from overseas and put Americans back to work in full-time, family-supporting jobs.

We must repeal ObamaCare and put patients and families back in charge of their health care. We need to rein in the federal government's out-of-control regulations the way we did in Wisconsin. We'll start by repealing the bad ones.

We are an energy-rich country. We can literally fuel our economic recovery with an "all-of-the-above" energy policy.

American prosperity is interdependent with a safe and stable world. Under the Obama-Clinton doctrine, America is leading from behind. Their defense and foreign-policy follies have abandoned allies, rewarded enemies and backed away from our military.

We have a President who drew a "red line" and allowed Syria to cross it. He called ISIS the JV squad and Yemen a success story. Our current leaders think Iran is a place America can do business with.

The greatest threat to future generations is radical Islamic terrorism. We must defeat ISIS and the threat of radical Islamic terrorism before it threatens the homeland. We need to acknowledge that Israel is our ally and start treating them like one. We need to stop Russian aggression. We need to stop China's cyber attacks, slow its advances into international waters and speak out about its abysmal human rights record.

We must honor our men and women in uniform by giving them the resources they need to keep us safe and the quality care they deserve when they come home. But the first and best way to honor fighting men and women is by fighting to win. Our goal is peace, and we secure peace when every foe knows that if they start a fight with the United States, they will be defeated.

As a reform governor in a state long saddled with failed liberal policies, I have proven I will fight the good fights, and I know how to win. It is time to restore and reclaim the great results of the American experiment - the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This is the road back to American greatness. I am ready to be the President who begins this journey.

Walker is the governor of Wisconsin and a candidate for president.

Scott Walker, Statement by Governor Scott Walker: Why I'm Running for President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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