(AP/Andy Manis)

Scott Walker says he voted for Reagan for president, which is totally impossible

UPDATE: The original source for these comments now claims to have made a mistake in its transcription


Elias Isquith
February 10, 2014 10:45PM (UTC)

Update 2/10/14 3:20 p.m. : Right Wing News is now claiming that their initial transcription of this part of Walker's interview was incorrect and that Walker never claimed to have voted for Reagan. "All I can do at this point is apologize for the error," writes John Hawkins of Right Wing News. "This was our mistake and it was very unfair to Scott Walker who is catching flack because of an honest error on our part."

If you're a Republican who is thinking about running for president some day, there are few things you can do to better ingratiate yourself with the GOP rank-and-file than talk about the awesomeness in human form that was former President Ronald Reagan.

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Perhaps this best explains what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was thinking when, during an January interview with Right Wing News, he claimed to have voted for Reagan to be U.S. president.

"I remember, I ... had just become a teenager and voted for Ronald Reagan," Walker said. He argued part of the reason why he supported the Gipper was because "you knew what you were getting."

"Limited government, you know, smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense," Walker continued. "You knew what you were getting. You knew how a Reagan administration, a Reagan presidency, was going to be better for you."

Pretty standard Republican boilerplate stuff, right? Well, here's the catch: There's simply no way Walker's claim is true.

The reason why is very simple. As Zach Wisniewksi pointed out at Blogging Blue, Scott Walker was 13 years old when Reagan won the presidency in 1980, which means he was only 17 years old when Reagan won reelection in 1984.

While some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and caucuses as long as they're 18 by the time of the general election, Wisconsin is not one of them — and Walker would've still been too young at the time to qualify, even if it were.

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Walker's flub/fib is relatively small potatoes, of course, but coming on the heels of his embarrassing celebration of a sex offender at his State of the State address, it's yet another example of the Republican governor failing to get the simple things right.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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