July 19th, 2015
11:48 AM ET

CNN's Dana Bash gets an exclusive interview in Governor Scott Walker's Winnebago

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential Hopeful and Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, joined chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash in an exclusive interview.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, video & text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Exclusive inside Governor Scott Walker's Winnebago

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Walker on doing away with the Iran deal, increasing sanctions and more:  “Yes. And I think it's that bad of a deal. It's a bad deal for us. It's a bad deal for Israel. It's a bad deal for the region. I will not - it's not just the starting gun, it will accelerate the nuclear arms race, and it is a powering Iran to do what they're going to do by lifting the sanctions, giving them credibility in the world, not only emboldens the problems that we have in terms of the illicit nuclear infrastructure but this is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. …I would seek to get the support of Congress not just to reinstate the existing sanctions, but to replace more crippling ones… I think if America would lead and make the case as to why these sanctions are needed and why we need to petition in that regard”

Walker on if being gay is a choice:  “Oh, I mean I think - that's not even an issue for me to be involved in. The bottom line is, I'm going to stand up and work hard for every American regardless of who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background. I'm going to fight for people and no matter whether they vote for me or not.”

Walker on if Boys Scouts of America should keep its ban on gay leaders:  “That's up to the people who run the boy scouts. …Sure. I said in this case that's what I thought. I thought the policy was just fine. … I was saying when I was in scouts it was fine. You're asking what should the policy be going forward? It should be left up to the leaders of the scouts.”

Walker on legal immigration being limited:  “What I specifically said is I think priority under legal immigration should be given to the impact on American working families, on their wages in a way that will improve the American economy. That only means people like me who were born here, that means people like the woman I just met in Cedar Rapids, for example, who moved here many years ago, was a political refugee in the Congo and who went through the process to be a legal citizen. She is working here. And I believe for her and for others who were born here, there needs to be a priority given to say we're going to do things that makes sure we put priority on American working families and their wages. Doesn't mean there won't ever be legal immigration. It just says that's where our priority should be.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you be willing to go ahead and do away with this deal, increase sanctions, even if all of the other allies around the world, really, were opposed to that?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. And I think it's that bad of a deal. It's a bad deal for us. It's a bad deal for Israel. It's a bad deal for the region. I will not - it's not just the starting gun, it will accelerate the nuclear arms race, and it is a powering Iran to do what they're going to do by lifting the sanctions, giving them credibility in the world, not only emboldens the problems that we have in terms of the illicit nuclear infrastructure but this is the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

BASH: But the U.S. can't lead in a vacuum, right?

WALKER: No. And we certainly would not want to. Our intention would not be to do it alone. I would seek to get the support of Congress not just to reinstate the existing sanctions, but to replace more crippling ones (INAUDIBLE) I think if America would lead and make the case as to why these sanctions are needed and why we need to petition in that regard (INAUDIBLE) -

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: The reason the sanctions were so beneficial and so effective, is because the whole world joined in on them.

WALKER: Exactly.

BASH: If the U.S. was going it alone with sanctions, Iran would say, all right, U.S., whatever, we can, you know, still trade with everybody else. So it wouldn't really work, would it?

WALKER: Well, I mean there are still fundamental parts related to the United States. And again the United States putting sanctions, it would have an impact on them. So they'd have to consider what impact it would have on relations that they do with Iran and what that would impact to have on their own account.

BASH: Earlier this week you said that the Boy Scouts of America should keep its ban on gay leaders because the policy protected children and scout values. And then your campaign clarified to say that it was really protecting the scouts from the political and media discussion about that. I'm having trouble understanding that. What - at the end of the day what is your position?

WALKER: I'm not talking about personal protection. I'm talking about - for me the reason why I didn't have a problem with it is, I just think it pulled scouting into a whole larger political and cultural debate as opposed to saying scouting is about camping and citizenship and merit badge and service awards instead of pulling all these other issues out there. And I just hope that they can stay focused. That's all.

BASH: So, but should there be a ban on allowing gay men to be scout leaders?

WALKER: That's up to the people who run the boy scouts. One thing that people find unique, I guess, whether you like it or not, is I actually answer questions. People ask me a question, I'll answer a question -

BASH: You're not really answering this one.

WALKER: Sure. I said in this case that's what I thought. I thought the policy was just fine.

BASH: OK.

WALKER: I was saying when I was in scouts it was fine. You're asking what should the policy be going forward? It should be left up to the leaders of the scouts.

BASH: Do you think that being gay is a choice?

WALKER: Oh, I mean I think - that's not even an issue for me to be involved in. The bottom line is, I'm going to stand up and work hard for every American regardless of who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background. I'm going to fight for people and no matter whether they vote for me or not.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: On behalf of people is to do that properly you have to understand or at least have an opinion on who they are and where they're coming from.

WALKER: But again, I think - no I don't have an opinion on every single issue out there. I mean to me that's - I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question. So I'm just saying (INAUDIBLE) I don't know what the answer to that is. And again I'm going to spend my time focused on things that I do know and what I can work on.

BASH: You have taken an interesting position in that you say that legal immigration should be limited. Why is that? And does that - you know some people might look at that and say that's completely counter to what America was founded on.

WALKER: What I specifically said is I think priority under legal immigration should be given to the impact on American working families, on their wages in a way that will improve the American economy. That only means people like me who were born here, that means people like the woman I just met in Cedar Rapids, for example, who moved here many years ago, was a political refugee in the Congo and who went through the process to be a legal citizen. She is working here. And I believe for her and for others who were born here, there needs to be a priority given to say we're going to do things that makes sure we put priority on American working families and their wages. Doesn't mean there won't ever be legal immigration. It just says that's where our priority should be.

BASH: You want path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and then you say now that you changed your mind. You believe in amnesty. You're running as somebody who is principled and authentic. How do you square changing your positions or at least the impression that your positions have changed?

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: And let me read you one quick thing. Craig Robinson who is the former director of the party here in Iowa, the Republican Party said, “Walker is making Romney look like the model of consistency”.

WALKER: The only issue where I've clearly said I had a position before and even on that as a governor I didn't have a role to play in immigration. I said there should be a path years ago, when I talked about going forward with legal immigration. I didn't talk about amnesty. Like I said in that specific interview I oppose the Gang of Five, the measure that Marco Rubio and others proposed. So I explicitly even then said, I'm not supporting that. But I said flat out in the interview, you heard the beginning of the year, that's the position I have changed on by listening to people. I made it very clear what my position on immigration is.

END INTERVIEW

 


Topics: CNN • Dana Bash • State of the Union
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