Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has a funny way of trying to entice Iowa Caucus voters to consider supporting his presidential candidacy. His latest hire will likely throw those on the fence about his candidacy back to the side of undecided.
According to CNN Monday morning, the Walker campaign announced it had hired veteran strategist Liz Mair to oversee online outreach. Mair’s political consulting firm, Mair Strategies, will provide input on digital strategy and messaging while advising on social media and blogger outreach for Walker’s PAC, Our American Revival.
Mair gained experience in those areas after helping Walker in previous positions, including during his 2012 recall election. She also logged time with the Republican National Committee in 2008 and has also worked for Carly Fiorina, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
Some of her online activity is already gaining the attention of Iowans, but it’s not good attention.
During the Iowa Freedom Summit, which many have argued was Walker’s “coming out party” as a presidential candidate, Mair posted this:
And a couple days prior to the event, she posted this:
Ethanol has not been subsidized for several years, although the Renewable Fuels Standard does establish benchmarks for how much of it must be sold in the U.S.
Social media – one of her areas of expertise – blew up over those tweets later in the day Monday. Some believe “personnel is policy,” and on policy issues, Mair diverts from the positions Walker has tried to establish as his principles. On her personal blog, she said:
“I’m actually a long-time gay rights supporter. I am on the board of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. I was on the board of GOProud. I’ve been on the record as supporting same-sex marriage for far longer than the vast majority of Democrats or liberals.”
And she said:
“I’m pro-gay-marriage and I’m also pro-choice, though I have some very major moral objections to abortion in most circumstances and would never have an abortion myself. … I do think abortion should remain legal in the first trimester, or where the mother’s life is in jeopardy. I don’t think abortion should be allowed on sex-selective or disability-selective grounds, although I also don’t think legislation can stop this entirely, only discourage it. I also think people should look at adoption a lot more than they currently do. I think there are huge moral problems with abortion, and that people should abort far, far less. And I would never have an abortion. Above all, I think the best ways to curtail abortion are a) for more people to use better birth control, and more consistently and b) for a cultural case to be made against it, as opposed to seeking to use the strong arm of government to stop it. I’m a skeptic of the effectiveness of big government, and that’s true whether we’re talking health insurance policy or abortion.”
And, she said:
“Unless we’re talking gang members or people involved in major financial crimes or sex criminals, no, I’m actually basically for amnesty. I’ll even use the word, unlike a lot of people.”
Iowa activists have criticized the comments in social media. Most are shocked that a campaign that is trying so hard to earn their vote would hire someone who insults them directly and is diametrically opposed to their worldview.
The Our American Revival PAC was asked by The Iowa Statesman to respond to these comments. The PAC has not responded. The Iowa Statesman will update this article as developments warrant.