As Gov. Scott Walker continues to make the rounds nationally to bolster his viability as a Republican presidential candidate, he’s finally being exposed on a broader level for what he really is: a liar and an idiot. During a January 21st appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gov. Walker was asked about the importance of foreign policy experience for a presidential candidate. Responding to the question, Gov. Walker told an outright lie about how records showed Ronald Reagan’s decision to fire the nation’s air traffic controllers in 1981 impacted relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Then he turned to Reagan, one of his political heroes, and one of the Republican president’s early acts in office — the mass firing of most of the nation’s air traffic controllers.
In August 1981, after contract talks between the federal government and the union for the controllers stalled, nearly 13,000 controllers walked off the job. Just seven months into his first term, Reagan called the strike illegal and demanded they return to work. When more than 11,000 didn’t, Reagan fired them in what was an unprecedented action.
In his MSNBC interview, Walker asserted that the move was one of the most important foreign policy decisions “made in our lifetime,” showing allies and adversaries around the world “that we were serious.”
Then he added this:
“Years later, documents released from the Soviet Union showed that that exactly was the case. The Soviet Union started treating (Reagan) more seriously once he did something like that. Ideas have to have consequences. And I think (President Barack Obama) has failed mainly because he’s made threats and hasn’t followed through on them.”
Experts contacted by PolitiFact indicated they had never heard of any documents that back up Gov. Walker’s claim, and according to PolitiFact’s report Svetlana Savranskaya, the director of Russia programs at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, told PolitiFact she “had to listen to the Walker interview twice, so ridiculous is the statement about the air traffic controllers.”