Walker Campaign Manager Talks GOP Debates, Fundraising At Forum

Governor's Low-Key Style Will Help Him During Debates, Says Rick Wiley

Shawn Johnson/WPR

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign manager Rick Wiley discussed how the governor will fare in GOP presidential debates and about how he organizes Walker’s campaign during a WisPolitics forum in Madison on Tuesday.

At one point during the forum, Wiley was asked how Walker would make a statement at the upcoming debates that big, given that he’s more “mellow” and other candidates are more “boisterous.” Ten of the 16 declared Republican candidates will participate in the first GOP presidential debate based on how they fare in national polling, meaning Walker could be joined on stage by outspoken candidates like Donald Trump and Chris Christie.

Wiley said that the governor’s calm and steady style will help him.

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“The American people are looking for leadership, and they’re looking for someone who’s battle-tested, calm, steady, and that’s what you get with Scott Walker,” Wiley said. “And I think that comes across on a debate stage of saying ‘This guy is ready to be president on day one,’ and I think that’s more important than some bombastic language that might be tossed around on a debate stage.”

The first Republican debate is Aug. 6 in Ohio.

During the WisPolitics forum, Wiley was also asked about how he prioritizes Walker’s time. He said the campaign gets hundreds, if not thousands, of requests, and that “you have to look at the map” and “where is the money.”

“It’s all based on fundraising. Let’s be honest,” he said. “I mean, you have to go where the money is.”

He said that Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are states where candidates can’t necessarily raise as much money.

“Nevada is more bigger checks, not $2,700 checks — and that’s a big check, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a million dollar check,” he said.

Wiley said Walker is about to leave on a 13-day campaign swing. The governor just returned to Wisconsin from a week-long five-state campaign kickoff.

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