LHI founder and Chairman Don Weber saluted the formation of a Scott Walker Veterans Coalition to support the Wisconsin governor’s bid for re-election Thursday during a La Crosse event where Weber hosted about 50 veterans and Walker.
“Gov. Walker has been a strong advocate for veterans in the state, and we look forward to continuing to work with him to recruit even more veterans to live and work here in Wisconsin,” said Weber, a Marine veteran who served in the Vietnam War.
Walker underscored his support for veterans, noting that Wisconsin’s provision of 23 benefits for veterans is more than any other state — the closest another state comes is 21.
Walker, with veterans of most branches of the military standing behind them, addressed the veterans in the Cargill Room of the Waterfront Plaza for nearly a half-hour, personally greeting nearly every one and posing for pictures with many.
Homes for veterans are acclaimed as some of the best in the country, said Walker, who has given veterans priority to register for courses at University of Wisconsin campuses, expanded eligibility for the Wisconsin GI bill and funded the Hire Heroes program of the State Department of Workforce Development.
Walker, who addressed the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce after his meeting with veterans, also launched an international marketing campaign in August to recruit military personnel and their spouses to live and work in Wisconsin when they leave the service.
During a press conference after his speech, Walker answered a question by condemning the fact that pipe bombs were delivered Wednesday to several other public servants, including President Bill Clinton, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
Asked about the appropriateness of the repeated chants of “Lock her up” concerning Hillary Clinton before President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in support of Walker in Mosinee Wednesday night, Walker said, “Clearly, I stated very clearly to the crowd there, as I had earlier in the day, that any attempt of terror against any American is an attack against all Americans.
“I don’t care what your politics are, if you attack one of us, you attack all of us,” Walker said, adding that he was pleased with the president’s promise to put the full resources of the federal government to work to find and prosecute whoever is responsible for the explosive devices.
Pressed on the fact that Trump nonetheless began his day Thursday with a tweet blaming the media for the negative tone of political discourse, Walker said he couldn’t comment on that statement, instead saying that Trump’s actions to seek whoever sent the explosives speak for themselves.
A terrorist cannot use someone’s words as an excuse for attacks, he said.
Asked about the fact that Trump, the highest-ranking constitutional officer in the country, routinely labels the media as enemies of the people despite the constitutional guarantee of a free press, Walker said such statements are freedom of speech.
Walker’s opponent in the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election is Democratic nominee Tony Evers, who has been the state schools superintendent since 2009. Evers leads Walker by 3 percentage points among likely voters, according to a poll that Thomson Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics released Wednesday.