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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued his ascendancy to top GOP surrogate this week, capping off a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., by delivering today’s Republican weekly address.
Walker’s Washington trip, undertaken in the wake of his victory in the June 5 recall election, featured media appearances and a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).
“Gov. Walker’s outstanding record of fiscal responsibility clearly demonstrates his commitment to public service and the people of Wisconsin,” McConnell said in a release. “Gov. Walker’s account of his life as an ordinary citizen who went on to achieve something quite extraordinary is an inspiration to us all.”
Fresh off his win, Walker felt comfortable taking time during his visit to publicly advise presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on how he should modify his message. The Badger State governor repeated several times that Romney should move beyond his party identification in his effort to distinguish himself from President Barack Obama.
Walker referred to his success in the recall election and told reporters at a Christian Sciene Monitor breakfast Thursday that it would be a mistake if Romney “looks at Wisconsin and thinks that he can win just because I have an ‘R’ next to my name and he has an ‘R’ next to his name.”
“I think he’s got to have a simple message of not only why we need to replace the current occupant in the White House, but also why he would be better,” he continued.
Walker’s official Republican address avoided any critique of Romney’s message and instead focused on the country’s economic woes and the struggles facing many Americans.
“We need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government,” he said. “We need to think more about the next generation than we do about the next election.”
Though Walker did not mention Romney in the address, he alluded to the presidential race with criticism of Obama’s economic policies.
“We need that kind of bold leadership again today to get our fiscal house on track and to get our economy back in order,” said Walker, referring to the presidency of Ronald Regan. “But more big government is not the answer as the president contends.”
At many times throughout the speech, Walker waxed inspirational as he referenced the Founding Fathers and America’s promise.
“Let this be the moment in history where we can tell our children and our grandchildren that we helped restore our country’s greatness again,” he said. “I believe we can because I believe in America.”
Walker’s trip also included a visit with Wisconsin veterans and a speaking engagement with Marquette University students. He will campaign with Romney in the southern part of Wisconsin on Monday.