Slipping in the Iowa polls, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fended off hecklers during his speech at the Iowa State Fair Monday, which the candidate used to try and remind Republicans voters of what made him popular.
“We had 100,000 protesters, some of which have come here today,” Walker said to the crowd, some of who booed much of what he said. “They didn’t intimidate us at the [Wisconsin] capital because in America, they have every right to speak. But they can’t drown out the voices of the millions of people who elected me in Wisconsin. … As president, I will not let you drown out the majority in this country.”
Walker became a national figure when he won a showdown against the state employee union over reigning in pensions in the state. He has made taking on big fights and winning big conservative battles in a blue state a cornerstone of his pitch to voters.
Later during his speech, he directly engaged the hecklers.
“I am not intimidated by you sir or anyone else out there,” Walker said. “I’m going to fight for the American people. You want someone who is tested, I’m right here. You can see it. This is what happened in Wisconsin. We will not back down. We will do what is necessary to defend the American people going forward.”
Many in the crowd roared in approval at Walker's words, drowning out the hecklers.
Walker held a decisive lead in Iowa for most of 2015, but has recently fallen to third place behind two nonpoliticians, real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Walker has sought to ramp up his anti-Washington image by criticizing the Republican congressional leadership, tapping into sentiments shared by much of the Republican Party’s conservative base.
“These days, I’m not just frustrated with the president and with the Democrats in Washington, I’m frustrated with the Republican leadership in Washington as well,” Walker said. “They told us in the last election that if we just elected a Republican Senate, the leadership would put a bill to repeal Obamacare on the desk of the president. In August, we are still waiting for that measure.”
Walker will be announcing his plan to replace Obamacare on Tuesday.
He also talked about rolling back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Some of the executive action Obama took in November has been blocked by a federal court in the lawsuit by 25 states still working its way through the courts.
“I talk to voters in this state and voters around the country all the time that say: We want to send a message to Republican leaders in Washington that when you make promises on the campaign train we want to see it, whether it’s repealing Obamacare or standing up against illegal immigration,” Walker said. “If it wasn’t for me and 24 other governors who stood up and took the president who took the president to task and took him to court, that would have gone through.”