Scott Walker’s Foreign Policy Interview with Martha Raddatz

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfh918r4bCE

Seems like straight-shooting to me. At least one lefty hack in the MSM says that Walker botched this interview, but I don’t think so. (I like how he starts his criticism by pouncing on a sentence that Walker didn’t get a chance to complete …)

But what do you think? How is Walker handling aggressive media interviews? Is he sounding the right tone on foreign policy? Does it look like he will develop a solid grasp of the issues?

Walker, who has announced a trade mission to London for later this month, disputed that he’s light on foreign policy knowledge.

“Governors don’t just take trips,” he said. “As a governor, I’ve had risk assessments given to me by the FBI and my Adjutant General about threats not only in my state but around the country. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so worried about the future not just of our country but our world. We need leadership.”

Raddatz pressed him on Syria, where the U.S. has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State.

Raddatz: “Let’s talk about some specifics. You talk about leadership and you talk about big, bold, fresh ideas. What’s your big, bold, fresh idea in Syria?”

Walker: “I go back to the red line —”

Raddatz: “Let’s not go back. Let’s go forward. What’s your big, bold idea in Syria?”

Walker: “I think aggressively we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world. Because it’s not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil — or not if, I should say, it’s when. And we need leadership that says clearly not only amongst the United States but amongst our allies, that we’re willing to take appropriate action. I think it should be surgical —”

Raddatz: “You don’t think 2,000 air strikes is taking it to ISIS in Syria and Iraq?”

Walker: “I think we need to have an aggressive strategy anywhere around the world. I think it’s a mistake to go down a path —”

Raddatz: “But what does that mean? I don’t know what ‘aggressive strategy’ means. If we’re bombing and we’ve done 2,000 air strikes, what does an aggressive strategy mean in foreign policy.”

Walker: “I think anywhere and everywhere we need to go beyond just aggressive air strikes. We have to look at other surgical methods. And ultimately, we have to be prepared to put boots on the ground if that’s what it takes because I think —”

Raddatz: “Boots on the ground in Syria? U.S. boots on the ground in Syria?”

Walker: “I don’t think that’s an immediate plan, but I think anywhere in the world —”

Raddatz: “But you wouldn’t rule that out?”

Walker: “I wouldn’t rule anything out. I think when you have the lives of Americans at stake and our freedom-loving allies anywhere in the world, we have to be prepared to do things that don’t allow those measures, those attacks, those abuses to come to our shores.”

There are 24 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I see six uninterrupted questions and five interrupted answers.

    • #1
  2. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Ronald Reagan once said on Firing Line that one of Carter’s weakest strategies in foreign policy was immediately telling the Soviets what he wouldn’t do. Walker’s got it right. Leave everything on the table, whether you mean it or not. Nuclear weapons may be the last thing he is considering, but let ISIS go to bed every night wondering whether we’ll go there.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    It looks like the media is worried enough to try some hit pieces.

    • #3
  4. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    2000 airstrikes over several years are nothing. Successful campaigns do 2K airstrikes in a day – in the service of some sort of Operational or Tactical objectives.

    Radditz had her scales wrong.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Instugator: Radditz had her scales wrong.

    So, think she was ever in the military or knows anyone who has served in the last ten years?

    • #5
  6. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Arahant:It looks like the media is worried enough to try some hit pieces.

    So Walker was late to his French class .. that’s worrisome ..  La Fenetre, yep, still fluent in French from that 7th grade French class .. want to hear more, Le Plume .. prepared me for an exciting life of jet-setting and international intrigue.

    • #6
  7. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    I saw that interview and it raised my blood pressure. That woman was a bully and disrespectful with how she interrupted Walker continually. People say there’s no media bias? This is a case study and plain as day. The interview is openly hostile and confrontational, nothing close to journalism.

    Walker did okay but he should have held his ground as a guest and as someone who deserves respect.

    You do not allow people to treat you like that. The meta message was that she dominated him and ‘won’ and made him look on the defensive as though he had been found guilty of something. Why can’t Republicans see that this is actually a very powerful subconscious message that LIVs get, while they don’t, or can’t process the answers?

    What he needed to do when interrupted was to stop, maybe cock his head and  calmly say, “i’m trying to answer your question” indicating that the interruption was odd and borderline rude. Later he can also say, I’m trying to make a point that goes beyond five words, please let me finish my answer. Later, after I answer your question you can ask me that, thank you, I’ll make it brief.

    Possibly, ” I sense hostility, am I wrong? I thought I was invited for a calm discussion on my views, I don’t understand.”

    Walker: “I go back to the red line —”

    Raddatz: “Let’s not go back. Let’s go forward. What’s your big, bold idea in Syria?”

    Walker: I’m sorry, history and background are important, so I’ll be happy to go forward once I frame the context. I’ll be brief. And then continue. In the continuation he could address her characterization “big bold idea” by saying, I never said each and every issue requires big bold ideas, certainly not Syria, which is a difficult dilemma which you know, but I would….

    I’m by no means saying I could have done better here. I know it’s hard but this stuff needs to be studied and practiced.

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Lord, what a terrible interview. I’m loathe to pass much judgement on a candidate on a subject in which he wasn’t able to complete a sentence without being cut-off but…

    I sure hope Walker has something more to offer than warmed-over Bill Kristolism. Strength, resolve, and aggression — in the sense of forcing your enemies to respond to you, not the other way around — are all necessary, but not sufficient.

    • #8
  9. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    His tone is good – if too deferential to a hostile interviewer. He comes across as likable. You can see why Democrats are scared.

    • #9
  10. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    The critic referenced in the OP, Rick Ungar, tries to dismiss Walker with condescension. Seizing on the phrase “big, bold, fresh ideas” and not hearing the precise details of those ideas in a drive-by interview, Ungar tag-teams with Martha Raddatz to undermine the opposition. This is how the media game is played.

    The purpose of that interview, McLuhan would have taught, was not to examine the credentials of Scott Walker. It was to portray Martha Raddatz as an authoritative examiner. She was the focus of that interview, not him.

    BTW, the Wikipedia page snapshot of Ungar says “According to his Forbes bio he is also a paid Democratic strategist for Mercury Public Affairs, a lobby group for Democratic issues.” Take his skepticism about Republican candidates as part of his job.

    • #10
  11. user_370242 Inactive
    user_370242
    @Mikescapes

    I thought Franco’s hypothetical interview was far more successful than Walker’s. You need huevos in this arena.  He showed a couple in Wisconsin vs. the Unions, but here he folded his tent way too often. What kind of advisors let him walk into Radaatz’s line of fire at this stage of a campaign? Don’t they have rehearsal? Apparently not. Sad, but right now he is weak on foreign policy. I’ve heard him on immigration and he’s not yet terribly informed there either. Seems like a short window to bone up on these subjects.

    I don’t hold a college degree in great esteem, but it might be helpful if Walker had studied up on foreign policy somewhere. Bush has been around the international political scene his whole life. Hillary, obviously. Walker needs to fire his campaign manager, knuckle down and master the facts on the aforementioned issues. Then come back fighting. It’s tough for a governor without exposure to foreign affairs. He’ll be roughed up in debates for lack of experience.

    I wish him luck. Otherwise, it’s back off, get a gig in international trade and wait 6 years to go against Hillary. Neither does he need to learn how to ask for the men’s room in French, nor complete more credits for a useless college degree.

    • #11
  12. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Arahant:It looks like the media is worried enough to try some hit pieces.

    You may be able to tell who is “winning” by who the media decides to attack. Walker is running close with Bush in the recent polling. I think a lot of the media would love another Bush presidential candidate.

    • #12
  13. The Party of Hell No! Inactive
    The Party of Hell No!
    @ThePartyofHellNo

    This is a fantastic interview… for PR people working for campaigns on what not to do! Everyone who wants to run for a political office outside the Democratic sphere needs to study this and practice, practice, practice, muscle memory of the voice! Right off at the beginning …”I  am not sure what Mitt Romney was saying, you would have to ask him about his meaning.” Whenever someone asks your opinion, or speculation about what someone else was saying, always, always, always, (Unless they are dead!) defer the interviewer back to that person! Your job is not to explain others but to explain yourself! White guys of the Republican party; the lady across from you is not your ally! Stop being surprised and stumped when you are treated poorly and openly attacked; this is what they do, they hate you and despise you and your world view; and anyway who wants a President who cannot squash a little bug of a women on ABC when you are going to be facing real men and bastards around the world? Been there, done that, oh wait… still there and still doing it. Scott Walker this is for you; fire your whole PR staff now! You were ill prepared, you need PR people who are going to slap you hard on the face and punch you in the stomach just before such interviews so you come out like a cage fighter ready to prove your strength, agility and moves to take down your opponent. I also have observed cage fighters circling studying their opponent and being strategic. Nothing wrong with taking control by waiting without saying anything for the interviewer to exhale all their – “I’ll get you, you bastard white guy!” – and realize the interview is going badly because of their behavior. Last thing of advice – this is the primaries as Tom Meyers said, ” …something more to offer than warmed over Bill Kristolism.” Stop using talking points developed by the central committee, be real (Hint – original thoughts – your thoughts.). Throw out some unusual ideas go off the path, even controversial, which you can follow-up on at a later time. Because of course when you make controversial statements you get the lime light and isn’t this what you want?  You have to establish yourself outside the pack; Republican candidates cannot be all saying the same thing. Can they?

    • #13
  14. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    I am, you may have noticed, a huge Walker fan, but this is a bone-headed move. How does appearing on ABC news get him any closer to the Oval Office?

    Obama has shown the way to deal with a hostile media: freeze them out. Deny them interviews, a seat on the campaign bus, or those leaks that give them scoops.

    The MSM is a dying giant. Republicans need to stop furnishing life support.

    • #14
  15. user_259843 Inactive
    user_259843
    @JefferyShepherd

    No gaffes – it was just fine in tone and content.   I don’t watch this clown-show but I’d wager she was never big, bold and aggressive when one of BO’s people was across the table.

    • #15
  16. user_340536 Member
    user_340536
    @ShaneMcGuire

    How smarmy was that, “Can we deport everybody” question? Is there a credible politician out there advocating deportation of all illegals?

    • #16
  17. BD Member
    BD
    @

    Damn right. Why do Republicans continue to go on these liberal shows while Democrats generally shun conservative outlets. Obama went to Raddatz’s wedding!

    • #17
  18. user_409996 Inactive
    user_409996
    @EdwardSmith

    Walker has shown that he can Walk The Walk.

    He did get his talking points across in this interview, but he could have been more aggressive in response to Raddatz’s aggression without appearing to be rude.

    That he seems to be be disinclined to be rude is not the worse thing in the world.  He is clearly not inclined to back down in the face of other people’s rudeness or opposition.

    I do not expect Scott Walker to be Rand Paul.  He has his own style.  He just needs to tweak it.  And there is time for that.

    So no, I am not alarmed just yet.

    • #18
  19. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Having grown up on the East Coast, lived for several years in the heartland, and since then on the West Coast, it is my view that Midwesterners are generally the most genial,  best-mannered citizens of the upper regions (can’t speak for the south, no experience there). They are slightly taken back and somewhat perturbed at the East Coasters’ constant interruptions to talk over them, but seem too laid back to compete with them in impoliteless. Endearing and pleasant civility, but wins no contest with the hostile big-time journos. Scott Walker needs to be schooled on deflecting and turning back nastiness.

    • #19
  20. J. D. Fitzpatrick Inactive
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Fritz:Having grown up on the East Coast, lived for several years in the heartland, and since then on the West Coast, it is my view that Midwesterners are generally the most genial, best-mannered citizens of the upper regions (can’t speak for the south, no experience there). They are slightly taken back and somewhat perturbed at the East Coasters’ constant interruptions to talk over them, but seem too laid back to compete with them in impoliteless. Endearing and pleasant civility, but wins no contest with the hostile big-time journos. Scott Walker needs to be schooled on deflecting and turning back nastiness.

    This is a great point. You could see this culture clash in action in the 2012 VP debate. Biden was aggressive, willing to accuse the über-wonk Ryan of spouting “malarkey”, and Ryan kept replying like he was at a HS Lincoln-Douglas debate.

    • #20
  21. J. D. Fitzpatrick Inactive
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    BTW, an editor added the Youtube video. On the one hand, thanks; I’m not much of a video guy because I can get the info faster by skimming transcripts. OTOH, my original comments about “sounding fine” were based on reading the excerpt from the transcript, so I need to look at the vid before I can reply to comments.

    • #21
  22. J. D. Fitzpatrick Inactive
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    KC Mulville:The critic referenced in the OP, Rick Ungar, tries to dismiss Walker with condescension. Seizing on the phrase “big, bold, fresh ideas” and not hearing the precise details of those ideas in a drive-by interview, Ungar tag-teams with Martha Raddatz to undermine the opposition. This is how the media game is played.

    The purpose of that interview, McLuhan would have taught, was not to examine the credentials of Scott Walker. It was to portray Martha Raddatz as an authoritative examiner. She was the focus of that interview, not him.

    BTW, the Wikipedia page snapshot of Ungar says “According to his Forbes bio he is also a paid Democratic strategist for Mercury Public Affairs, a lobby group for Democratic issues.” Take his skepticism about Republican candidates as part of his job.

    Right, I could tell he was a hack just by looking at the other headlines he has about Republican candidates. I should make more of a habit of checking Wikipedia pages, though. Good move.

    • #22
  23. J. D. Fitzpatrick Inactive
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Just watched the vid. I thought he sounded fine. The interruptions were annoying, but he handled them well. Candidates can do a lot worse than hit their talking points (see “Uz-beki-beki-stan-stan”).

    • #23
  24. Pete EE Member
    Pete EE
    @PeteEE

    For all those who say he should have shut her up and made his brilliant point, no. His goal is not to win the debate but to win votes, or at least an audience among ABC viewers. It is just as well that she comes off as a rude bully and he comes off as civilized.

    Now, in a debate, before a Republican audience, blast away. We’ll enjoy the sport.

    • #24

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