Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, said Thursday that President Barack Obama has helped the conservative movement expand during the past seven years.
Since Obama took office in 2009, Walker noted that the number of Democratic governors across the United States has fallen from 28 to 18.
“The only nice thing I can say about this president is he’s been an incredible recruiter for conservative candidates,” he said during the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference hosted at Maryland’s National Harbor near Washington, D.C..
He cited Gov. Matt Bevin’s unlikely win in Kentucky last November as evidence the grassroots conservative movement has gained momentum under the Obama administration.
Bevin’s defeat of Kentucky’s former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway made him the state’s third Republican governor since World War II and one of 31 GOP governors who currently hold office across the United States.
“The reason why we see that kind of change is because Americans are looking for leadership that counters the failed policies of Barack Obama,” Walker said.
Republicans have also seen their party grow among state legislatures. Since 2009, Walker said roughly 1,000 new GOP lawmakers have been elected to state legislatures throughout the nation.
Walker noted 27 state legislatures were controlled entirely by Democrats when Obama took office, while eight were evenly split between the parties.
Today, Democrats control 11 state legislatures. Eight remain split.
“The conservative movement is alive and well in states all across America,” Walker said. “Why? Because our policies are working.”
He pointed to Gov. Mike Pence’s success in bringing the unemployment rate down to the lowest it has been since March 2011. Gov. Nikki Haley, meanwhile, has added 30,000 people to South Carolina’s workforce who were previously on welfare.
“Positive, common sense, conservative reforms work on economic policy, they work on fiscal policy, they work on social policy,” Walker said.
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