August 2, 2015

As Van Jones discussed in the clip above from this Sunday's State of the Union on CNN, over the objections from "Boss Hogg" Haley Barbour, who of course defended him, Wisconsin Gov. and presidential contender Scott Walker knew full well the type of dog whistle politics he was playing when he refused to give Politico's Mike Allen a straight answer at the Koch shindig yesterday when asked whether President Obama is a Christian or not.

Walker continues to play same game we saw from him this past February, and as Capper noted at the time, at least he hasn't gone full birther yet, but it's still early in the campaign season.

Here's more from the LA Times: Why couldn't Scott Walker agree that President Obama is a Christian?:

Wisconsin Gov. (and prospective 2016 presidential candidate) Scott Walker is 0-for-2 when it comes to answering easy questions about President Obama.

First Walker was asked if he agreed with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani that Obama didn’t love America. "You should ask the president what he thinks about America,” Walker told the Associated Press. "I've never asked him, so I don't know." Contrast that response with this adroit if obvious statement released by aides to Jeb Bush: “Gov. Bush doesn't question President Obama's motives. He does question President Obama's disastrous policies."

Then, in what Walker’s defenders argued was a "gotcha" question, the Wisconsin governor was asked if he thought Obama was a Christian.

“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview quoted in the Washington Post. He added: “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that. I’ve never asked him that.” [...]

Based on the public record, Walker should have been able to affirm personally what his spokeswoman did: that Obama identifies as a Christian -- and not just a "social justice" liberal Christian. In an interview with Christianity Today in 2008, Obama said that “accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.”

A lot of perfectly relevant questions posed to political candidates are "gotcha" questions in the sense that they seek to put the candidates on record about subjects they'd rather avoid. The way to avoid being "got" is to answer straightforwardly.

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