{{show_title_date || "Scott Walker tries introduces himself to Iowa Republicans, 5/24/13, 9:09 AM ET"}}

Republicans begin early state stops ahead of 2016


There may still be over 1,200 days until the 2016 presidential election, but you wouldn’t know it from all the action in early primary states this week.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced himself Thursday night to Iowa Republicans at a party fundraiser in Polk County, saying it’s time for the national party to look to the governors—and to the Midwest—for their leader.

“We’ve laid a positive foundation to move Wisconsin forward, and people wanted to continue down that path—we need to do that nationally as well,” said Walker.

And, the neighboring governor not-so-subtly reminded voters half a dozen times during his 40-minute speech that he lived in Plainfield, a tiny town in northeast Iowa, as a child.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was in the Granite State earlier this week, delivering his own prescription for the GOP at a fundraiser in Concord, N.H., and talking in an unusually elaborate way of how his party needed to diversify.

“We need to have black people, white people brown people—we need to have people with tattoos, without tattoos, with long hair, with short hair, with bears, without beards,” said Paul. “We need to look more like America.”

And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s familiar with taking heat from his own party, will welcome President Obama back to his state on Tuesday for a tour of the Jersey shore, which has reopened after Hurricane Sandy.

In an Friday interview while touring the rebuilding, Today’s Matt Lauer asked the Republican governor whether another appearance of that political odd couple could hurt him with his own party.

“I think that what people in my state want me to do more than anything else is for me to do my job,” said Christie. “The fact of the matter is he’s the president of United States and if he wants to come here and see the people of New Jersey, I’m the governor I’ll be here to welcome him.”

Republicans begin early state stops ahead of 2016