If I had to pick a winner of the debate last night, I would say it was Scott Walker for two reasons:
1.) His answer on what he would do as President was future-oriented. He talked about how he cut taxes and spending in Wisconsin, and how he would do the same thing in Washington. Most of the candidates focused on what they have already done. Walker talked about what he would do as President, and that’s important to the voters.
2.) He was unyielding on abortion and avoided a potential “gotcha” moment:
Megyn Kelly: You recently signed a law in Wisconsin that does have an exception for the mother’s life, but you are on record as having objected to it. Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion? And with 83 percent of the American public in favor of a life exception, are you too out of the mainstream on this issue to win a general election?
Walker: Well I’m pro-life, I’ve always been pro-life, and I’ve got a position that I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that I believe that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected and there are many other alternatives to also protect the life of the mother. That’s been consistently proven.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has a radical position in terms of support for Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago long before any of these videos came out. I’ve got a position that’s in line with everyday Americans.
Megyn Kelly asked him a pretty loaded question, and Walker refused to accept her premise and instead brought the topic back to Planned Parenthood and his effort in Wisconsin to defund Big Abortion several years ago.
This will be valuable for Walker in Iowa, where he currently leads most polls. This principled defense of life should help him cement his front runner position. Unlike the past, where Walker has wavered at times on the social issues, he gave a firm answer and showed resoluteness.
Jeff Bell is the Policy Director of American Principles in Action.