Kasten, right, with President Ronald Reagan in 1987. After serving two terms in Congress, Kasten stayed in D.C. to run a baking and consulting group.
“There are two people that I have huge respect for who are doing, in my mind and judgment, wonderful work in politics,” he said, referring to two former aides who are now Republican rock stars.
Scott Walker, who got his start working for Kasten’s Senate campaigns, is one of them. The Wisconsin governor became a hero to the right for his stand against labor unions.
Rep. Paul D. Ryan is the other. Kasten related the tale of Ryan’s rise through the former senator’s office, which began with a summer internship after his sophomore year of college and led him to where he is today, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee.
Kasten hit the trail twice for Ryan after Mitt Romney took on the younger Wisconsin native. “He’s still a close friend,” he said of Ryan.