July 19th, 2015
08:23 AM ET

Scott Walker says he's not sure being gay is a choice

Scott Walker says he's not sure being gay is a choice

By Dana Bash, CNN

http://cnn.it/1e8O9dE
Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says he is not sure being gay is a choice.

 

"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," Walker told CNN.

The Wisconsin governor was asked the question by CNN during an interview aboard his RV rolling through Iowa as part of an attempt for him to clarify his position about whether the Boy Scouts of America should maintain its ban on openly gay scout leaders.

Earlier in the week, Walker told reporters that the Boy Scouts should keep the ban on gay leaders because the policy "protected children." His campaign later released a statement saying he meant protecting scouts from the media debate.

"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 pulls scouting into a whole larger political and cultural debate as opposed to just saying scouting is about camping and citizenship and merit badges and service awards instead of pulling all these other issues out there. And I was just hoping that they could stay focused on that, that's all," said Walker, who is an Eagle Scout.

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When pressed about whether that means he is for or against the ban, at first the governor said that's "up to the people who run the places."

When reminded that presidents of the United States are actually honorary presidents of Boy Scouts of America, Walker responded that he would have "plenty much more significant issues to deal with as President."

"From a domestic and foreign policy and national security standpoint, the one thing people find unique, I guess, whether you like it or not, is that I actually answer questions people ask me," Walker added.

With that opening, pressed again, Walker suggested he believes the ban on gay scout leaders is the right one.

"I thought the policy was just fine. I'm 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," said Walker.

On whether being gay is a choice or not, Walker said 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, without regard of who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background, I'm going to fight for people, whether they vote for me or not," said Walker.

Contrary to popular belief, Walker's wife does not disagree with him on same-sex marriage.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Tonette Walker, the governor's wife, talked about how disappointed their two sons were that her husband called last month's Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage a "grave mistake."

That story left the impression that Walker agreed with her sons and disagreed with her husband.

The GOP presidential candidate told CNN that is not the case.

"My wife doesn't disagree with me on my position on marriage. She said she was torn because we have some family members who have some very different views on that. She was torn just because the emotion on the family and because all of the media attention on that. Not because she was torn with me on the position," Walker said.

Tonette Walker's cousin, Shelly, married another woman last month. Alex Walker, the Scott and Tonette Walker's youngest son, was a groomsman.

Wisconsin's first lady confirmed to CNN separately that she does, in fact, oppose same-sex marriage, like her husband.

Last week, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum went after the Walkers, saying if she is for same-sex marriage it could have an impact on her husband's policies and positions because "spouses matter."

"He's just wrong," Walker said.

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Topics: CNN • Dana Bash
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