Wisconsin Gov. Walker not ruling out a presidential bid
(CNN) — Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is leaving the door open for a presidential bid in 2016, refusing to commit to serving out a second term. His description of the ideal White House candidate sounds like someone not unlike himself.
“I think it’s got to be an outsider. I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor – people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in an interview that aired Sunday on “This Week.”
Walker, who has a new book out Tuesday–“Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge”–is up for re-election next year – the third time he’s run for the seat since he was first elected in 2010. Walker survived a contentious recall effort after he moved to curb collective bargaining rights for public unions.
Democrat and former bicycle executive Mary Burke announced last month she would challenge Walker next year.
The 2012 recall thrust Walker into the national spotlight, and his victory cemented him as a GOP star and potential presidential contender.
Fanning the flames of speculation that he has designs on the White House, Walker has made appearances in key presidential primary states this year, including Iowa and South Carolina.
And like fellow GOP Gov. Chris Christie, Walker declined to commit to serving out a full second term – that is, if Walker is re-elected.
“I don’t rule anything out,” Walker said in the interview when asked about a presidential bid.
Walker has been a vocal advocate for Republican performances at the state level compared to the work being done in Washington, a strategy that positions him as an outsider.
Karl noted Walker’s criteria for the ideal presidential candidate – someone without deep ties to the nation’s capital — would knock out other contenders for the GOP nomination like Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
“All good guys,” Walker said. “But, again … it’s got to be somebody who’s viewed as being exceptionally removed from Washington.”
By Walker’s standards, fellow Wisconsinite Rep. Paul Ryan, last year’s GOP vice presidential nominee, also wouldn’t make the cut.
“Yes, and I love Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan, if he had a fan club, I’d be the president of that,” he said.