Gov. Scott Walker on not finishing college

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently appeared on my podcast to discuss the recall effort against him. During our brief conversation, we discussed which Democratic primary candidate he believes will face him, how his reforms have improved education in Wisconsin, and how his family has been targeted by his political critics.

But I’ve always believed the most interesting interview answers often come from unexpected questions. And so, I asked him about not being a college graduate — and whether or not that has been used against him.

His answer, I thought, was a pretty good one:

[I]n the end, I think, [the attack] kind of backfires. I mean, in my case, I left my senior year to go work full-time. I had a job offer. Like a lot of people then — and even more people now — in a tough economy, if you have a job offer, you jump at it. I mean, ultimately, that’s one of your goals in going to college in the first place.

… I always find it mind boggling for people to make that an issue when guys like the founder of Microsoft and the founder of Facebook and others did something very similar. They left to pursue their dreams — in their case, it was much bigger than just the things I did … but I still, in the end, believe that I want as many kids who have dreams of careers that require a four-year college degree to go there. But I also know that technical colleges and other training opportunities will help us put more people to work, particularly in areas like manufacturing, where we have job openings even as we speak.

Listen to our full conversation with Gov. Scott Walker here (conservative blogger and Wisconsin native Sean Hackbarth also joins us on the episode.)

Note: If you’re interested in long-from interviews with interesting leaders and authors, check out some of our other recent podcasts, including National Review’s Jay Nordlinger on the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, A.N. Wilson on his short biography of Hitler — and Mark Judge on “Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

(You can also download the podcast on iTunes.)