On Friday morning, Scott Walker said he would give strong consideration to allowing the Big Insurance vultures to feed on Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions. He later flip flopped, or at least pretended to, due to "public outcry."
We now know what that public outcry looked like. Later on Friday, Walker jetted up to Appleton, Wisconsin,
for a campaign stop to talk about tourism (because polluted water, toxic soil and roadkills as far as the eye can see are real tourism draws!)
While there, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson approached him and started to speak quietly to him about that statement. Walker, obviously caught off guard, had a major meltdown, throwing a tantrum that would make any two year old jealous:
Video shows Nelson raised the issue while shaking hands with the governor, and began by speaking into the governor's ear.
The governor replies, "If you want to have a press conference, go ahead. He'll have a press conference. No, no. If the county executive wants to have a press conference on something else, you can talk to him later, but if you want to steal away from tourism you can do that."
Nelson interjects, "No, no. This is a big deal. Three-hundred thousand people in Northeast Wisconsin."
Wow! That escalated quickly!
Unable to defend his indefensible stance, Walker went on the offensive, trying to bully and bluster Nelson into submission:
"If you want to run for Congress, you had your chance," the governor replies, repeating it seven times during their exchange.
Nelson ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year. He lost to Republican Mike Gallagher.
Rep. Gallagher voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, which passed by four votes Thursday, 217-213.
Talk about going off topic! I suppose Republicans do consider personal attacks to be a sign of strength instead of immaturity, like most adults do.
Walker then keeps the blustering and bloviating going on by trying to change subjects and flat out lying:
Nelson continues, "Just to be clear, 300,000."
"Just so we're clear folks," the governor says to the surrounding media, "just to be clear, the county executive wants to take away from tourism right now and play a political stunt."
"About a topic that has nothing to do with what we're talking about today. It's on an issue that was voted on in front of the House of Representatives, but is not even going forward in the Senate right now. We'll take a look at it when it goes through the United States Senate. We're going to lobby in a way that allows us to do the things we've done here in the state of Wisconsin for the first time in the history of the state we cover everyone I think in Medicaid. It's something we didn't do Tom when you served in the Legislature."
"Nope, nope. So you don't support the legislation?" Nelson asks.
"There was a waiting list -- a waiting list for people living in poverty when you served in the state Legislature. I removed that waiting list so that no one living -- you can make up the facts," the governor says.
"You have sent to other states hundreds of millions of dollars for the Medicaid expansion, taking care of everything from the opioid crisis you're dealing with, for health insurance for those individuals. We're not," Nelson said.
the campaign stop telling Appleton residents to tour Appleton is much more important that the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Gotcha.
But about Walker's claim. It is true that he added everyone under the poverty threshold to Badgercare. What he doesn't include is that he also kicked nearly 100,000 people out of the program at the same time. Only about a third of those people were able to get on Obamacare, which leaves about 66,000 people without coverage at all. I'm sure that number is even higher now as Walker continues to tank the state economy.
Overall, it's a sad display from Walker but an important lesson for Democrats. If they are able to find a halfway decent candidate who can keep Walker off his speaking points and off balance, he will continue to have these meltdowns and will continue to look more like the fool he really is.