Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) last week claimed he had proof that foreign leaders aren’t satisfied with President Obama’s leadership. One our closest allies, the Republican candidate said, told him so.
“I heard that from David Cameron back in February earlier when we were over at 10 Downing,” Walker told a group of GOP donors.
Soon after, the British leader made clear that Walker was wrong. “The Prime Minister did not say that and does not think that,” a Cameron spokesperson told Time magazine.
For a governor with national aspirations, it was the latest in a series of foreign-policy missteps. Not only was Walker blabbing about a private conversation he had with a close U.S. ally, but he was also apparently misquoting the British prime minister in the hopes of attacking the American president.
Today, Walker was asked to explain himself. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:
Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he won’t be talking anymore about private meetings with world leaders after British Prime Minister David Cameron disputed how Walker had characterized his comments.“I’m just not going to comment on individual meetings I had with leaders like that, be it there or anywhere else,” the White House hopeful told reporters when asked about Cameron’s comments…. Walker said he had learned from that incident and wouldn’t do it anymore.
Speaking from Canada – one of Walker’s many recent foreign trips – the Wisconsin Republican added, “What I learned best from that is I should leave discussions like that that aren’t done in front of the media to be treated privately, whether it was there or anyone else. You’re right; I haven’t. That’s something I’m not going to do going forward for precisely that reason.”
And I suppose that’s a start. The unannounced presidential candidate apparently didn’t realize until very recently that when you have a private conversation with a foreign head of state, it’s unwise to share the details of that conversation at a fundraiser.
But that doesn’t quite resolve the underlying problem.
We’ll never know for sure exactly what kind of conversation Walker had with Cameron or what was said. But as things stand, the GOP governor has not retracted his original comments about what the British prime minister said behind closed doors. Likewise, Cameron’s office hasn’t felt the need to elaborate.
So, does Walker believe that Cameron really did complain about President Obama in private? When the British leader denied it, does Walker believe Cameron’s office was lying?
The Republican today said, “I’m just not going to comment on individual meetings I had with leaders.” And in theory, that’s a perfectly reasonable position – except he’s already commented on an individual meeting he had with a leader, at which time he appears to have said something that may not have been true.
Look for some more on this on tonight’s show.