A Polish Immigrant Reminds Scott Walker of American Greatness

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America’s greatness is built on freedom, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, and he had a story about an immigrant from Poland to illustrate that.

“Thank you to each and every one of you in all that you represent here in this country and around the world, fighting for freedom every single day, and that’s all right to talk about today,” Walker said. “You know what makes America great is really based on freedom.”

His words were met with surging applause from the huge crowd at CPAC.

The Wisconsin Republican, who lost his bid for a third term as governor in November, regaled his audience with his account of an encounter with a supporter while eating with his family at a restaurant.

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Walker said a woman approached to introduce herself and her daughter, whose birthday is coming up in March. A native of Poland, his supporter said she couldn’t understand the socialist faction in America.

“She talked a little bit about politics but, really gripping for today’s panel, she told me that she could not fathom … having come to America from an Eastern European country, she couldn’t fathom how anyone in this country would embrace socialism.”

As the woman spoke, Walker said, he saw a contrast between her home country and America:

She said she knew firsthand, as did her family, the failures of socialism. She said she knew about me from the past, from where she came from, [and] that she sees it just as we do today. … She came to America because she knew … freedom and prosperity did not come from the clumsy man in the government. They come from inspiring people to live their own lives and control their own destinies, and the dignity [of] work. That is what makes America great.

As master of ceremonies of the CPAC segment, Walker praised the next speaker, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, for his expertise in the Constitution and leadership. He told the audience to look forward to hearing Lee’s speech on America’s founding principles.

“All people are created equal, not just some here, some there. But the outcome is up to each and every one of us,” Walker said, adding: “Anyone in this country can succeed in America under the free enterprise system.”

Other speakers in the “What Makes America Great” segment were BlazeTV host Deneen Borelli, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, and National Rifle Association President Oliver North.

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

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