Scott Walker recants opposition to birthright citizenship

After telling an NBC reporter unambiguously that he supported ending birthright citizenship, Scott Walker on Friday changed his mind, saying his new position is that he has no position, that he is now undecided again.  He's saying that this isn't a reversal, merely that he misspoke because he was tired.

How do you misspeak support for ending birthright citizenship?  Look at this video, where he is clearly asked whether he would end it, and Walker says, "Yeah, absolutely."  No ambiguity there.


This is not a minor, technical issue.  This is not a slip of the tongue.  Scott Walker was clearly saying last week that he supported ending the mechanism that creates anchor babies.  Now he's changed his mind.

Here's his position on the issue for August 21:

“I’m not taking a position one way or the other,” Walker said in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood. “I’m saying that until you secure the border and enforce the laws, any discussion about anything else is really looking past the very things we have to do.”

It's doubly hard to believe that this is a slip of the tongue because of Walker's long and tortured history of switching his positions back and forth on illegal immigration, only getting tougher immediately after Donald Trump announces a new position. No politician is going to be perfectly consistent on this issue, but when you look at Scott Walker's total record on this, it's not inspiring.

What does this tell us?

1) At the very least, that six months into the campaign, Walker still does not have a clear worldview on what he would do regarding illegal immigration.  That's not encouraging.

2) He vacillates on one of the most important issues.  How can we nominate someone who doesn't seem to have firm values?

3) If he's being honest in that he misspoke, again, then he has a real difficulty articulating his positions clearly, which may disqualify him anyway from being the nominee.

I'm not the only one who has noticed this:

The problem for Governor Walker is that more than anything conservatives are looking for principled leadership on the issues, and being a Johnny-come-lately or staying silent until pressed on every issue from amnesty and illegal immigration, to the DC Republican establishment’s regular betrayal of conservative principles shows Scott Walker to be more like a weathervane following the political winds, than a compass pointing true North on the foundational principles of the conservative agenda.

And lastly, he is a low-wattage speaker.  He doesn't speak with passion, and maybe that is because, politically, he doesn't have much.

I know Donald Trump has a long history of supporting illegal immigration.  Even Ted Cruz, who is greatly superior on the issue, is not perfect.  No one is.  But they don't seem to vacillate from day to day quite as frequently as Scott Walker does on such an important, central issue of this campaign. 

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