Gov. Scott Walker's position on abortion: 'I don't obsess with it'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, says the Republican Party needs to position itself as a party of optimism, and he doesn't let his anti-abortion position define him.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to reporters on Nov. 22 in Washington.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was elected in 2010 and in 2012 survived a recall vote based on his actions against public unions. He is a potential GOP presidential candidate and was the guest at the Nov. 22 Monitor Breakfast.

Governors as candidates:

"The ideal [presidential] candidate ... would be a current or former governor.... There is a real sense across America that people want an outsider. [Rep.] Paul Ryan [(R) of Wisconsin] is one of the exceptions to that rule."

His pro-life position on abortion:

"I don't apologize for that, but I don't focus on that; I don't obsess with it."

Making Republicans more appealing in national elections:

"We cannot be viewed as the party of 'no'.... In the states where we are successful, that is exactly what has happened.... We are optimistic; we are speaking in terms that are relevant...."

President Obama and foreign policy:

"What is going on in foreign policy is much like 'Obamacare' ... you have a president who spent far too much time listening to his political team and not his policy team."

The dispute over Democrats changing Senate filibuster rules:

"As long as people are competent and ethical, deference should be given to the chief executive in terms of appointments they make to executive positions.... Judicial appointments ... warrant a larger level of scrutiny."

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