Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Says Jeb Bush is Still the GOP Frontrunner

The Republican Wisconsin governor goes one-on-one with ABC News' Jonathan Karl in Iowa.
6:42 | 06/07/15

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Transcript for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Says Jeb Bush is Still the GOP Frontrunner
I love a senator who knows how to castrate a pig, ride a hog and cut the pork from Washington, D.C., wouldn't it be nice to give her an ally in the white house to help get the job done? That was the man many are calling the republican front-runner, Wisconsin governor Scott walker, talking about freshman senator Joni Ernst, she may be Iowa's new kingmaker. I had a chance to talk to Scott walker before he jumped on his Harley. Not quite a declared presidential candidate yet, but as we saw here in Iowa this weekend, Scott walker is already hitting high gear, racing towards the front of the pack on his Harley and in the polls. Governor walker, you're up in the polls nationally, big lead. Are you the front-runner now? I think governor bush is the front-runner, but we're feeling good. You said not long ago that people don't want an anointed leader in America, they don't someone who's part of a legacy, you were talking about Hillary Clinton, doesn't that apply to Jeb bush, too? Well, I think it's -- I hope republicans and independents and even some discerning democrats, we're striking a stark contrast with Hillary Clinton. We're fresh faced. Taking on someone from the past. You got to run in this republican primary first, Jeb bush, the third bush, doesn't that apply to Jeb? But again, it's one of those N a republican primary, people want to see how you're going to step up and contrast yourself with Hillary Clinton. And the fact that she's not going through a primary or at least a real primary. I think it's a disadvantage not only for the democrats but for the American people. You said that the running mate should be a governor, former governor, you still believe that? Governors bring tremendous experience. We have to surround ourself with a cabinet of people who are smarter than us in any given issue. Precisely what makes for a successful president in terms of a cabinet and leadership. So, would you categorically rule out a senator like Marco Rubio? No, I think my preference, governors are well-tested leaders, they just don't talk about it, they have to do it. But someone like Marco Rubio, I have real confidence in. Reporter: Walker's best known for his controversial stands against union in Wisconsin. He won re-election in November. One of your central promises was, you were going to create 250,000 private sector jobs in Wisconsin. When I asked about that, you said you would get it done. We're still committed by 2015, to get to 250,000. You haven't done it. You fell quite a bit short. Yeah, we set a big goal. Last month, we're at 4.4% unemployment rate. Well below the national unemployment rate. We'll continue to aim high in our state. But that was a central promise you fell significantly short, so, we should expect you to fall short on the promises you're making now? No, you look at all of the promises we made. Four years in a row, property taxes were lower than we expected. We froze tuition, we fixed the budget from 3.6 billion in the hole to surpluses. Schools are better. You look at one promise after another, we fulfilled those. Reporter: But walker faces questions about his lack of foreign policy experience, including this jab from the president. Perhaps Mr. Walker after he's taken some time to bone up on foreign policy will feel the same way. President Obama said you needed to bone up on foreign policy. You have been doing that. You have been traveling. It's interesting for the president who called Isis the JV squad and the Yemen a success story, should tell someone to bone up on foreign policy. We have been to Israel. I talked to David Cameron in the UK. If I'm thinking about running for president of the united States, it's not about preparing for debates, it's about being prepared to be the president of the United States. You have been very critical of the president's handling of Isis. Senator graham saying we should seasoned 10,000 ground troops to Iraq. Do you think we send ground troops? I don't think we should rule it out. Would you do that? I'm not arguing that's the first approach. Three specific things we should do in Iraq. First, we should re-engage the strength of the American forces, once you do that, you empower the ally forces there to reclaim the territory that Isis has taken. Third, do it in a way that doesn't provide a safe haven, like in Syria, that push them out. So, you would not send combat troops now to Iraq? No, I believe right now, we have a capacity to reclaim with Iraq with the Iraqi forces there. As long as we unleash the power of the American armed forces already there. You say you wouldn't rule out anything -- would you rule out a full-blown U.S. Re-invasion of Iraq and Syria? I don't think we should ever send a message to our foes of how far we're willing to go. You wouldn't rule that? I wouldn't rule out boots on the ground. If the national interest of this country are at stake here at risk in this country or abroad, that to me is the standard that we do for military engagement. Reporter: Governor walker has been courting social conservatives here in Iowa, many of them concerned about that big decision expected from the supreme court. If the supreme court establishes that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right -- does that effectively end this as a political issue in this campaign? I personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. If the court decides that, it's ultimately pursuing a constitutional amendment. You would favor a constitutional amendment saying that would say states are allowed the ban same-sex marriage? Left up to the states, yeah. We had another big cultural moment, president Obama said that Caitlyn Jenner coming out like that was an act of courage. It's a personal decision. Reporter: Walker looks, sounds and acts like a presidential candidate, but he still hasn't made it official. Okay, when are you going to hear the decision? The budget will be done by tend of June. Shortly thereafter we'll announce our intentions. Up next, the roundtable weighs in on Scott walker and Hillary Clinton's slide in the

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