Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, eying the presidency in 2016, used his State of the State address on Tuesday to highlight his conservative successes and take gentle swipes at potential GOP rivals mulling a White House bid.
Lower property taxes and a fully funded pension system are two reasons “the Wisconsin comeback is working,” and also two things few other governors can boast about, Walker said.
“Property taxes are literally lower than they were in 2010. How many governors can say that?” Walker said to applause before declaring his opposition to Common Core standards in education.
Like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential 2016 rival, Walker said his state’s economy has improved but still has more improving to do. But unlike Christie, Walker’s address featured few of the national themes the Garden State governor talked about in his speech earlier in the day.
While Christie mentioned the “anxiety” he has seen from Americans from Chicago to Maryland to Kansas, Walker talked about the thank you notes he received from Sheboygan and Milwaukee.
But Walker’s speech was not totally void of national themes, including jabs at at possible Republican presidential candidates in Congress.
“There are some in Washington who believe government should play a growing role in our lives and rarely question its expanse,” Walker said. “Others have such disdain for government that they attempt to keep it from working at all,” a nod to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's efforts to shut down the government in 2013.
Walker, who has now won three elections in the blue state, was also quick to highlight an area that got bipartisan support -- the success of the Green Bay Packers. He swiped at Christie for his now notorious hug with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
“I had plenty of fun hugging owners in the stands at Lambeau field,” Walker said. (The Packers are the only publicly owned team in professional sports.)