Back in 2013, Gov. Scott Walker told a story to fellow conservatives about how he came to hold the family Bible used by President Ronald Reagan when Reagan took the oath of office. At the time, the story seemed to create a powerful connection between Reagan and Walker, who idolizes the former president. However, according to a report in U.S. News & World Report Gov. Walker’s tall tale doesn’t match the memory of the presidential library curator charged with caring for the book.
At a 2013 Reagan Day dinner in Milwaukee, Walker told a Reagan story that he said “gives me a little bit of a shiver.”
He described being invited by Nancy Reagan to give a speech at the Reagan Library near Los Angeles in November 2012, five months after he won a recall election that stemmed from his successful effort to curtail the union rights of public employees in his state. Walker said he met with Nancy Reagan before the speech and told her that he had won the recall on the eighth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s death.
Walker went on to describe how, during a tour of the library before the speech, the library curator “unbeknownst to me” had taken the Reagan family Bible out of its display and readied it for him to look at.
“And they brought over a pair of white gloves to me and they said, ‘No one has touched this since President Reagan. It is his mother’s Bible that he took the oath of office on. Mrs. Reagan would like you to hold it and take a picture with it’,” Walker said in a YouTube video of part of the speech posted by a reporter for the liberal magazine The Progressive.
The only problem with Gov. Walker’s account is that like so much of what he says, it wasn’t exactly true.
But library artifacts curator Jennifer Torres told The Progressive magazine in a series of emails that it was Walker who had asked to view the Bible while at the library.
“We decided to remove the Bible the day Gov. Walker was in town to comply with his request, took the Bible back to collections after the photo and re-installed it on exhibit a few days later,” Torres said in the March 4 email.
Torres also said in the email that Walker’s assertion that he was the first person to touch the Bible since Ronald Reagan was untrue.
The fact that Scott Walker would lie about something like how he came to hold the Bible used when Ronald Reagan was sworn into office speaks volumes about Gov. Walker’s disdain for telling the truth, especially when the truth won’t serve his ambitions.