Governor Walker to meet with lawmakers, potential donors and conservative groups in Washington
(CNN) — It turns out even Washington outsiders have a reason to venture inside the Beltway once in a while.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has grown fond of bashing Washington and casting himself as an outsider, will spend Tuesday hobnobbing with members of Congress, potential donors and conservative groups as he seeks to build support for a likely presidential run.
“I like to call it 68 square-miles surrounded by reality,” Walker quipped, referring to Washington at a conservative gathering in Maryland earlier this year.
Slamming Washington is always a popular line — until you have to come to town to shore up establishment support and scoop up big donors.
That’s why Walker will kick off Tuesday with a slate of congressional meetings with roughly 70 to 80 lawmakers, according to people familiar with the plans. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a longtime pal, is expected to introduce him at the event.
Later that afternoon, he is set to meet with social conservative groups such as the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America.
Penny Nance, chief executive of Concerned Women for America, is planning to attend. She said of everyone flirting with a White House bid, she knows the least about Walker.
“It’s important to hear and actually try to discern the heart of a candidate,” Nance said. “I want to know their moral compass, their core values, are the same as my members.”
Walker is also hoping to woo some donors while he’s in town. He is billed as the special guest Monday night at a reception to benefit the Republican Party of Virginia. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to meet with K Street and trade association representatives — Washington’s GOP donor base — people familiar with the event said.