Walker goes strong on foreign policy
© Greg Nash
 
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) brought a South Carolina crowd to its feet Saturday during his remarks on national security, a topic generally considered Walker’s Achilles heel as he weighs a run for president. 
 
Addressing the South Carolina Freedom Summit, likely GOP candidate Walker used foreign policy as the climax for his speech, framing the issue as a matter of courage and emotion rather than “something you read in the newspaper.” 
 
“On behalf of your children and mine, I want a leader that is willing to take a fight to them before they take the fight to us,” Walker said, referring to ISIS and “radical Islamic” fighters. The line received a standing ovation. 
 
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Walker also repeatedly referred to his trip to Israel, scheduled for this weekend, where he will undergo what the Washington Post described as a “crash-course in foreign policy.” 
 
“We need a president to affirm that Israel is our ally and start acting like it,” he told the crowd. 
 
The Freedom Summit is expected to receive a bevy of declared and likely GOP presidential candidates Saturday, giving the nascent campaigns an opportunity to introduce themselves to early primary voters and begin to distinguish their brands. 
 
Walker, in a loose and jovial speech, subtly tried to separate himself from other likely candidates who will be fighting for the mainstream GOP mantle. 
 
In remarks that could be interpreted as a minor dig at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), a potential rival, Walker played up his family’s humble roots in Wisconsin. 
 
“From our family, we didn’t inherit fame or fortune,” he said, explaining that he once worked flipping burgers at McDonald’s.  
 
Walker also made an implicit bid for women’s support with an increasingly frequent anecdote about coupon-cutting at Kohl’s, a retail chain founded in Wisconsin.