Walker Will NOT Be ‘Intimidated’ By Union Protesters

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In response to union protesters heckling him at a campaign event Monday in Iowa, Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker had one message: “I am not intimidated.”

The incident happened while Walker was speaking at the Iowa State Fair Soapbox. As CNN reports, union protesters followed Walker from Wisconsin to heckle his speech. It wasn’t long before Walker supporters and the union protesters became locked in physical altercations.

“I am not intimidated by you, sir, or anyone else out there,” Walker told one of his protesters according to his campaign. “I will fight for the American people.”

Walker officially announced his run July 13. Almost immediately the most powerful national unions moved in to discredit his campaign. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka even called Walker a “national disgrace,” in a statement that went into no further detail. Unions have long been at odds with Walker over labor reforms he pursued during his first term as governor of Wisconsin.

“You want someone who’s tested?” Walker continued to tell the protester. “I’m right here. You can see it! This is what happened in Wisconsin. We will not back down. We will do what is necessary to defend the American people going forward.”

Much of the dispute started in 2011 when Walker curtailed union power in his state. The reforms, known as Act 10, significantly changed the collective bargaining process for most public employees. It also required public unions to hold a renewal vote every couple of years to determine if workers still wanted them.

The labor movement did all it could to oppose the law. At the time, thousands of protesters descended on the Wisconsin capital to rally against the act. They surrounded the outside and occupied much of the building. Walker, however, was able to outlast the protests. Afterwards opponents even tried to get Walker thrown out of office with a recall election in 2012.

After a rough battle, Walker was able to overcome the attack and even won reelection during the 2014 midterm. Earlier in the year unions in the state took another major hit after Republicans in the legislature passed a law which banned mandatory dues as a condition of employment.

To get the Republican nomination, Walker will first have to beat Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul among others in the Republican primary.

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