Former Gov. Scott Walker said he believes Donald Trump will attend the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee later this month because he just can’t resist a fight and the attention.

Walker at a Milwaukee Press Club-WisPolitics.com-Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday said “conventional wisdom would suggest” Trump’s lead in the polls suggests he shouldn’t come to the Aug. 23 event. But Walker added the one-term president is unpredictable. Walker likened Trump to a prizefighter.

“Whether you agree with him or not, a prizefighter belongs in the ring,” Walker said. “And I don’t think when all is said, he can resist the idea that there’s going to be eight maybe nine or 10 people here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with all this national attention, and he’s not going to be the one there to talk about. And frankly, if I was advising him, I’d tell him to come.”

Walker launched a campaign for president in 2015, but dropped out of the race by late summer. He’s now president of the Young America’s Foundation, a sponsor of this month’s debate.

He added he hasn’t spoken with Trump since he was president.

Trump’s latest indictment for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election also shouldn’t impact his ability to be president, Walker said, arguing the GOP front-runner is protected by free speech.

Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith earlier this month charged Trump with obstructing an official proceeding by allegedly attempting to delay certification of the 2020 election.

Walker said, “I think in a society, separate what you think about Donald Trump, separate what you think about politics, and say if you can indict someone for something they said at a podium or something they said on Twitter that then someone else may or may not have acted out on, where do you draw the line?”

He compared the Trump issue to the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game shooting, when a former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., shot U.S. Sen. Steve Scalise, R-La., and three others. Sanders has repeatedly criticized Republican House and Senate members on social media and elsewhere, calling some “anti-Democratic” at times.

“Now, you could say, if you use that same logic, that Bernie Sanders should be indicted for that,” Walker said. “I think that’s ridiculous. We don’t say that in a free society.”

Part of a winning strategy for Republicans includes getting young voters on board, Walker said. That means undoing what Walker says is years of liberal indoctrination in schools. The GOP needs to do more messaging about what the party stands for, he said, which Walker argues is freedom from overburdensome regulation and pushing for more economic opportunity.

Walker also said campaigns are missing an opportunity to draw a distinction between the 20-week abortion ban he signed in 2015 and what he argues is the opposing Dem position that abortion should be legal until “the very last minute before a child is born.”

“The law I signed is 20 weeks,” he said. “Halfway, essentially, through a pregnancy, versus where most candidates are on the opposing view of mine, which is all the way to the life of the child is born. That’s a radical position.”

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin declined to comment.

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