Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) compared a military battle with the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) to opposing pro-union protesters during his Thursday evening speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Right Wing Watch reported.
"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world," Walker said in response to a question about how he would handle groups like ISIS.
This story has been updated. Please see below.
The governor's remark alluded to a March 2011 protest that drew around 100,000 demonstrators to the state Capitol opposing an anti-union bill. Walker's CPAC appearance came a day after the Republican-controlled state Senate passed a "right-to-work" bill despite heavy opposition from the public.
Walker said that "people in the media don't understand" that his position enabled him to get threat assessments from the FBI, and that he had been concerned about the group for years.
"You've already seen some of the reported stories about what we see in the Twin Cities, some of the issues there," he said, alluding to reports last year that authorities were investigating whether ISIS was recruiting in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
"I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil," Walker argued. "We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message not only that we will protect American soil, but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence."
Update, 9:52 p.m.: Walker accused reporters of taking his remarks out of context in an interview with CNN on Thursday night.
"You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit, but I think it's pretty clear," he said. "That's the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there's any parallel between the two."
Watch Walker's remarks, as posted online by Right Wing Watch, below.