Republican governors who are expected to make a White House run are drawing a line in the sand with their congressional competitors as they carefully craft their presidential candidacies.
The governors are hammering home the point that they have experience as leaders and executives, while trying to highlight the fact that their potential GOP rivals in Congress may screw up the party's big chance to shine with the constant infighting between establishment leaders and tea party members, Politico reported
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker threw down the gauntlet
Sunday on "Meet the Press" when he said: "Overall, I believe governors make much better presidents than members of Congress."
Separately, Walker called on the GOP, which now controls both the House and the Senate, to "put up or shut up," while urging Republican leaders to make major policy moves.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also seized the moment on Sunday to declare that the drubbing Democrats were given in the midterm elections should be a wake-up call to the GOP.
"Lord, if you'll just give us one more opportunity to govern, we won't fritter it away this time," said Perry, reflecting on how Republicans must perform in the next two years.
And Perry echoed Walker's comments about having governors as presidents
when he said: "If you're in the Senate or if you're in the House, you can give a speech and then go home. Governors can't. We have to govern. And the president of the United States, historically, has had to operate that way, too — the ones that were successful."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also issued a warning to the GOP leadership the day after the election shellacking: "The American people have given us an opportunity. We have squandered the opportunity before when we've been in power."
Politico's Katie Glueck said that going after Congress is a "no-lose proposition" for governors aiming for the White House. "It's helpful to play the outsider card, and stressing the buck-stops-with-me responsibilities of a governor versus that of a one-among-many legislator is a distinction state executives love to make," Glueck wrote.
Perry, Walker, and Jindal, as well as other possible 2016 contenders, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, have stated that they expect the next president will emerge from a gubernatorial office, according to Politico. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also projected to make a White House campaign.
"Regardless of what happens in Washington the next two years, governors running for president will be able to say they've got the type of broad executive management experience that other candidates lack," said former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican. "They are governors. They're not associated with the lack of action on a score of issues in Washington, D.C."
Candidates for 2016 from Capitol Hill will likely include Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida, while Rep. Paul Ryan
, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, is said to be in the mix despite his recent comments maintaining his lack of interest in joining the race.
Joe Allbaugh, who was the campaign manager for Texas Gov. George W. Bush's successful 2000 presidential run, says he expects governors will soon begin to underline their leadership credentials over their congressional counterparts. "It separates the proverbial men from the boys, or the girls from the ladies," he said.
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