Scott Walker rails against "government dependence" at CPAC

The Wisconsin governor says he wants entitlement reform to stop dependence

Published March 16, 2013 2:00PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Mike Segar)
(Reuters/Mike Segar)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is leaving the door open on a possible 2016 presidential bid, fired up the crowd at CPAC Saturday morning with a speech railing against "government dependence."

"People don’t dream about growing up and becoming dependent on the government. Immigrants don’t come here to be dependent on the government," Walker said. "It is precisely why we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April."

In comments that could become controversial, Walker suggested that he doesn't approve of people being dependent on social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare. Walker said we "need real entitlement reform" in order to move "people from government dependence to true independence."

The sentiment was reminiscent of Paul Ryan's "makers and takers" rhetoric or Mitt Romney's 47 percent comments.

He added that the reason he didn't go along with the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act that would give health coverage to over 200,000 Wisconsinites is because he didn't want to increase dependence.

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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Cpac Cpac 2013 Scott Walker