Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he has changed his position on amnesty since he told a newspaper he could envision a path to citizenship for illegals.
Walker talked to "Fox News Sunday"
host Chris Wallace in an interview recorded last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference and aired on Sunday.
Walker finished second in the CPAC straw poll
on Saturday, trailing only Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has won the past three CPAC straw polls.
But Wallace wanted to know about Walker's response to a question on July 2, 2013 from the Wausau Daily Herald that asked, "Can you envision a world where, with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet-the-requirements, where those people could get citizenship?"
"Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think it makes sense," Walker said at the time.
But, Walker told Wallace, he has since talked to other governors who deal with illegal immigration.
"I don't believe in amnesty," he said, adding he was one of the first governors to join the federal lawsuit against President Barack Obama's executive actions to help millions of illegal immigrants gain legal status on hold.
Wallace pointed out that before he was governor, Walker was the Milwaukee County Executive and supported the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration plan.
"My view has changed. I'm flat-out saying it," Walker responded.
He said he believes current immigration laws should be enforced, the border should be secured and that the onus should be put on employers by giving them access to the E-verify system to check an applicant's legal status.
On other issues, Walker clarified his comments that have drawn fire in which he is accused of comparing protesters of his education plan to the Islamic State group (ISIS.)
Walker told Wallace he intended only to be referencing his own leadership abilities.
The leadership he provided under those "most difficult circumstances" prove his mettle, he said. "If I were to run, and if I were to win and be commander-in-chief I believe that kind of leadership is what's necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorists."
On the controversial comments made by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani saying Obama doesn't love America, Walker said, "[Obama] and anybody else who's willing to put their name on the ballot, certainly has to have a love for county to do that."
He also defended his own fiscal conservative credentials, saying that the $2 billion budget shortfall prediction over the next two years is based on a request sent in by state agencies. His own budget proposal would leave a $123 million surplus, he said.
Walker is the son of Baptist preacher, and has said he is waiting on guidance from God on whether to run for president.
"There are people of faith who can have a variety of political views. But for us, personally, we make important decisions like we did years ago to run for governor," Walker said.
He said his whole family prayed about whether he should run, and they are doing so again as he mulls a 2016 bid.
"In terms of who's winning, it's going to be up to the voters," he said.
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