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Walker Compares Today's 'Angry Mobs' to 2011 Wisconsin Protesters

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker compared the 2011 protests against his government to the protesters at town hall meetings and “angry mobs” blocking campus speakers, calling them “defenders of the status quo” trying to stop elected leaders from implementing their agenda.

Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, Walker did not mention his former challenger in the GOP primary — President Trump — and focused heavily on his record in Wisconsin.

Walker said the current wave of protests across the country is “exactly” like what happened when thousands protested at the state capitol in Madison and elsewhere against the governor’s plan to limit collective bargaining. They culminated in a failed recall effort against Walker in 2012.

Walker said he called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she was recently blocked by protesters from entering a D.C. school. “You know what?” he said he told her. “Been there, done that.”

He recalled protesters gluing the doors to an elementary school shut when he was heading there to read to children. He entered the school after the door hinges were removed.

Walker said his programs in Wisconsin prove “common sense conservative reforms work.”

In a nod to the progressive platform of free college, Walker noted he has frozen tuition fours years in a row and guarantees “actual free speech for everyone” including conservative students, teachers and speakers at state colleges.

While slamming his 2011 protesters and drawing parallels to today’s demonstrations, Walker emphasized, “This is America; anyone can say what they want about the government.”

“I wasn’t going to let the noise of the protests drown out the voices of the majority who elected us to do the things we were going to do,” he said.