In the moderated discussion with ethanol magnate Bruce Rastetter, Walker dropped his previous flat opposition to ethanol mandates, offering a new stance that’s well-suited to a state covered in cornfields. Walker signaled he now favors keeping the mandate for now and phasing it outin the future — without saying over what period of time.
“It’s an access issue, and so it’s something I’m willing to go forward on continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard and pressing the EPA to make sure there’s certainty in terms of the blend levels set,” Walker said. “Now, long term — we’ve talked about this before as well — my goal would be to get to a point where we directly address those market access issues and I think that’s a part of the challenge. So that eventually you didn’t need to have a standard.”
Walker, a past critic of ethanol, acknowledged in January that he would have to spell out his position on the issue as part of his likely presidential bid. In other key issues for Iowa, Walker said that he favored drawing down federal tax credits for wind power over time and opposed mandatory labeling of foods made from genetically modified crops.
“This is one of those where I believe it’s served its purpose,” Walker said of the credits. “I would support phasing that out over a period of time.”
When Walker arrived in this state for his breakout speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January, he was a candidate with more potential than organization or momentum. Now he has staff and an office in the state, a national campaign apparatus and a leading position in many polls.
Increasingly, he is adopting positions, such as supporting ethanol incentives, that fit the needs of his likely presidential campaign even if they are inconsistent with all of his past stances.
Not only is it just a bad policy position, it’s s stupid political stance for Walker. He has made his reputation on being an “unintimidated” conservative and has won three statewide elections in a blue state because of it. It wasn’t just his conservative positions, but the feeling that voters had that Walker would stand by what he said. His waffling and changing positions to appease people for his presidential run undermines both political foundations. If he keeps this up, he’ll win the Iowa corn farmers, perhaps, but he will erode his overall base.