Wisconsin governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Scott Walker has been caught in a lie. Again. This yarn is about how he got to hold Ronald Reagan’s family Bible at the Reagan presidential library in L.A. This Bible is also the one on which Reagan took his oath of office. That’s a fantastic honor, and that part is true. What’s not true, however, is how Walker got that fantastic privilege.
He said, according to an Associated Press article in Deseret News, that the library’s curator took the Bible out of its case and, “unbeknownst to him,” had “readied it for him to look at.” Then he said:
And they brought over a pair of white gloves to me and they said, ‘No one has touched this since President Reagan. It is his mother’s Bible that he took the oath of office on. Mrs. Reagan would like you to hold it and take a picture with it.’
The AP reports that the library’s curator, Jennifer Torres, remembers events differently. According to her, it was Walker who had asked to see the Bible, and that’s why they’d taken it out. As far as whether anybody had touched it since Reagan, Torres said:
Since the president’s passing, several staff members and conservators have handled the Bible, all while wearing gloves. It is unknown if President Reagan was the last to have to have touched the Bible without gloves, but it is doubtful.
Does Walker do this to make himself look like more of a celebrity than he is? Is he trying to sound more important and influential than he is? He actually does not have all that impressive of a record, but he talks himself up like he’s this legendary figure. The Reagan Bible lie is just the first. Here are five more lies and exaggerations from The Great Scott Walker.
1. The Soviet Union took notice of Reagan because he fired all the air traffic controllers. There are documents that prove that.
Walker compared his union-busting tactics to those of Reagan, and said at a lunch that ISIS and Russian president Vladimir Putin would notice him, and have to take him seriously, because of that. The truth is, the Soviet Union took notice of Reagan because of a whole lot of things that happened around that time. For instance, he’d increased military spending, and initiated a huge weapons-modernization program.
Furthermore, there are no documents that anybody’s aware of that show the Soviets took Reagan seriously because he fired all our air traffic controllers. It’s extremely unlikely that any such documents would have remained so completely under wraps that nobody‘s seen them for this long. This is a lie that Reagan’s supporters started, and that conservatives who idolize Reagan (like Walker) like to perpetuate.
2. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same around the world.”
He said this at CPAC earlier this year. This isn’t a lie, per se, but it is a really grandiose statement to make. Not only that, but it’s completely ridiculous, because peaceful protesters aren’t brutal terrorists. There are a squillion reasons why Walker really blew it with this statement.
3. Sen. Tim Cullen said that he would have persuaded his 13 Democratic colleagues not to leave the state, had he been at the 2011 meeting where they decided to leave to block Walker’s Act 10 union law.
Cullen told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he never said that. In fact, the Journal-Sentinel reports that Cullen said he supported leaving, and that he would have asked his colleagues what their strategy for returning was. Other Wisconsin senators agree that’s how Cullen would have handled it.
4. He threatened to lay off hundreds of workers if the unions didn’t give him the concessions he wanted. Union leader Rich Abelson told him to “go ahead and do it.”
The same article in the Journal-Sentinel that talks about Sen. Cullen quotes Abelson as saying the following:
That is frankly just a lie. He has no proof and no witnesses (of that).
While it’s conceivable that it’s Abelson, and not Walker, who’s lying here, when you put this together with everything else Walker’s claimed, it’s difficult to believe that this is the one instance where someone other than Walker is lying.
5. Walker’s wife, Tonette, suggested he say, “Now this is what democracy looks like,” the night he won his recall election.
The Journal-Sentinel story says that Walker decided not to deliver that line because he wanted to demonstrate humility, even though it would have been enormously satisfying for him. However, when he wrote about this in his book, Unintimidated, he neglected to mention that his lieutenant governor delivered that very line.
Whether he decided to say that his wife came up with it after hearing it from his lieutenant governor is unknown. Knowing how he likes to play up his own brilliance, though, calls his recollection of these events into doubt.
All of this calls to mind a man who knows he hasn’t done very much, but wants to look like he’s the greatest thing to happen to the GOP, and the country, since Lincoln (well, probably since St. Reagan, because Walker would never admit that Reagan’s policies are the source of a lot of our problems today). The truth is, he’s just another Republican hack.