DES MOINES, IA (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker hasn't officially declared himself as a 2016 presidential contender yet, but his speech in Des Moinse certainly highlighted his reforms here in Wisconsin while contrasting them with the way he says Washington operates.
Governor Walker walked onstage to warm applause in Des Moines on Saturday, January 24th at the Iowa Freedom Summit. He then spent more than 20 minutes courting the voters in the nation's first-in-the-country caucus state.
"Time and time again the protesters were trying to intimidate us but you know what all they did was remind me how important it was to stand up for the people of my state. They reminded me to focus on why I ran for governor in the first place," said Walker.
Governor Walker started by sharing stories from the protests and recall movement that first launched him onto the national stage. He then laid out his conservative credentials, emphasizing his positions on right-wing hot button issues like abortion and guns, among others.
"Since I've been governor, we passed pro-life legislation and we've defunded planned parenthood. We've enacted legislation that allows for concealed carry and castle doctrine so that law abiding citizens in our state can stand up and defend themselves and their family and their properties," said Walker.
Perhaps in a nod to a future campaign theme, the governor's buzz words for the speech were "big and bold".
"I think that sends a powerful message to republicans in Washington and around the country if you're not afraid to go big and go bold, you can actually get results," said Walker.
While Governor Walker hasn't declared his candidacy for president yet, he made sure to get in a few jabs at Washington.
"That's the difference between the Wisconsin way and the Washington way. In Washington they keep trying to find ways to take more of your money -- in Wisconsin, we want to find ways to give more of the money back to the people who earned it," said Walker.
Governor Walker often talks about "moving Wisconsin forward" -- Saturday, in perhaps another hint at his future ambitions, he closed his speech by talking about moving this country forward and promised to visit Iowa many more times in the future.