A Wall Street Journal weekend editorial slamming Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recent comments on immigration is “really wrong on so many different levels,” the likely 2016 presidential contender said on Monday.
In its editorial, entitled “Scott Walker’s Labor Economics,” the normally pro-Walker paper hammered the Republican for statements he made during an interview with Glenn Beck last week. Walker said he believes American jobs and wages should be the top priority when considering any change to immigration policy. (RELATED: WSJ Editorial Board Takes Sloppy Shot At Walker On Immigration)
But perhaps his greatest sin — in the Journal’s eyes — was name-checking Alabama U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, an immigration hawk. In the editorial — subtitled “The governor needs a better tutor on jobs and immigration” — the WSJ lambasted Sessions and took Walker to task for heeding his ideas on immigration policy.
“Republicans used to understand this basic economic principle [more workers can mean more jobs], but the politics of immigration is turning some of them into economists for the AFL-CIO,” the editorial reads.
But Walker shot back on Monday in an interview with Boston-based radio talk show host Howie Carr.
“My position on immigration is simple,” Walker told Carr. Like virtually all Republican presidential hopefuls, he said that he is a proponent of securing the border. He also called for universal e-verify and no amnesty.
“If you want to be a citizen, that’s a whole different thing,” Walker said. “You’ve got to go back to your country of origin and get back in line like anybody else.”
He appeared to be baffled by the Journal’s jab, calling it “wrong on so many different levels.”
He said his main point to Beck was that he believes that immigration policy should “make American workers and their wages [the] number one priority.”
He told Carr he believes that is the right approach for not just immigration policy but for tax policy, entitlement policy, and regulations.
“If we’re always thinking of the impact on hard-working Americans we’re going to be fine. If we don’t think about that then we get bad policies in America,” he said, while adding that “there are restrictions on legal immigration today that just don’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Walker has struggled to clarify his stance on immigration policy. In an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace last month he said he supported a measure that is tantamount to amnesty. He said he believes “there’s a way” for an illegal immigrant to embark on a path to citizenship after paying a penalty. (RELATED: Walker Says He Doesn’t Believe In Amnesty Before Saying He Supports Amnesty)