Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker spoke to a group of about 25 at the Republican Speakers Forum at Kickback Jack’s on New Garden Road on Monday, March 16.

Walker had been planning to attend the meeting and, when the speaker cancelled, he agreed to come and speak rather than listen.

He talked briefly about the reason he is not running for reelection. He said that Hillary Clinton would have won the newly drawn 6th District by 22 points in 2016, which indicates just how Democratic the district is.

Walker said he was considering running for what will be an open Senate seat in 2014, since Sen. Richard Burr has already announced he is not running for reelection. Walker said that he hadn’t made up his mind yet, but that he had met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about running and Trump told Walker he would support him in any race he ran.

Walker said that the North Carolina Senate race in 2014 will likely be the most expensive in the country because of all the money coming in from outside the state.

Walker said, “The Democrats polish their candidates up and make them look like moderates and then they go to Washington and vote with Pelosi [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] and Schumer [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer].”

Walker also talked about the COVID-19 virus and said that, as the ranking member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Committee, he knew some things he couldn’t talk about, but noted that the Chinese had lied to the US about the virus for several months and refused to allow US infectious disease experts into the area where people had the virus.

Walker said that much of the current US response is an attempt to follow the South Korean model, where it appears their efforts have caused the number of new cases to level out.

He said, “They didn’t have a huge spike.”

Walker said, “We’ve never seen anything like this in our country.”

He said that part of the problem was that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was caught unprepared and the media are trying to blame that on Trump. He noted that when Trump first restricted travel from other countries, he was criticized for that move, which turned out to be a good one.

Walker said, “The level of hatred they have for the president makes them make decisions out of emotion and not fact.”

Walker also predicted that the April 15 tax filing deadline would be moved back and that there would be more discussion on a payroll tax roll back.

But he added, “The federal government has a ceiling on what we can do.”

Walker said that with so many people suffering from the restrictions because of the virus, the desire was to help everybody, but that you had to draw the line somewhere. He said, “The toughest call for an elected official is where do you draw that line.”