Gov. Scott Walker will speak at Republican National Convention - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Gov. Scott Walker will speak at Republican National Convention

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PLATTEVILLE (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) is bucking a trend among Republican elected officials nationwide in agreeing to speak at the GOP national convention later this month, saying a vote for anyone other than presumptive party presidential nominee Donald Trump is a "de facto vote" for Hillary Clinton.

"I think there is a clear contrast," said Gov. Walker. "For those who raise concerns like I just did about the judgment of Hillary Clinton in terms of not just those emails, but some of the other issues out there, really there's only one alternative."

Gov. Walker confirmed he will speak at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland moments after FBI Director James Comey announced he is not recommending criminal charges be filed against Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving Secretary of State.

Walker indicated the Clinton email scandal would be a focus of his speech.

"If someone doesn't cast a vote for the Republican nominee, they are effectively casting a vote for her and that's part of what I'd be willing to talk about," said Gov. Walker.

In agreeing to speak at the RNC, Gov. Walker acknowledged he is rejecting the idea that Trump could still be replaced as the GOP nominee.

The RNC starts July 18, less than two weeks from today. But about 400 of the 2,472 Republican delegates are still spearheading an effort to block Trump's nomination on the convention floor.

Walker himself had even been rumored as a possible replacement candidate, but he squashed any further speculation on that Tuesday.

"Well, I think it's more just a reality," said Gov. Walker. "From the delegates I've talked to here in Wisconsin, as well as those across the country, as much as there have been legitimate issues raised and concerns - the bottom line is most delegates are headed down the path that I am, which is that it's a clear contrast. It's either gonna be Hillary Clinton or it's gonna be Donald Trump and we have to decide who we want it to be."

That is a marked departure from where Gov. Walker was less than one month ago, when he was very critical of Trump's racist comments about the Mexican-American judge handling the Trump University case in federal court.

"It's just sad in America that we have such poor choices right now," Gov. Walker told 27 News on June 8, when talking about Trump and Clinton.

And just two weeks ago, Gov. Walker said that he felt delegates to the RNC should be free to vote their conscience.

"Delegates are and should be able to vote the way they see fit," Gov. Walker told 27 News on June 21.

Walker has clearly evolved on the issue, so much so that he even said he can put aside the personal attacks Trump leveled at him during the run-up to the April Republican primary election in Wisconsin. Walker endorsed Ted Cruz, the eventual winner in that election.

That endorsement caused Trump to blast the Governor's record, but Walker said he is willing to leave all of that in the past for the good of the country.

"I'm a big boy. I can handle (it). I've handled plenty of critiques in the past. Typically its been from those politically on the other side of the spectrum, but to me, even folks who have been primary opponents and others have things to say," said Gov. Walker.

Gov. Walker will likely be one of the few notable elected Republicans to speak at a convention where Trump is expected to be nominated to head the Republican ticket in 2016.

Former GOP presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has said he won't even attend the convention being held in his home state. 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has also declined to speak, as have 2016 GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.

A spokesperson for the the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said that shows how far from the mainstream of American politics Gov. Walker has veered.

"Despite the growing division within his own party, Gov. Scott Walker is headed to Cleveland to lend his support for Donald Trump - a candidate who many have called dangerous and temperamentally unfit to be the President of the United States," wrote Brandon Weathersby. "Not only has Trump offended millions of Americans with his extreme and divisive rhetoric, his selfish policies will do serious harm to our national economy while eliminating millions of jobs. Governor Walker’s decision to stump for Trump and his dangerous policies is something that should concern every single Wisconsinite."

Alee Lockman, a spokesperson for the Republican National Convention, said the final schedule of speakers is still being finalized.

Donald Trump sent out a tweet July 2 indicating all of the speakers for the convention would be announced Wednesday.

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