Gov. Scott Walker 'Punts' on Foreign Policy, Evolution Questions in London

Scott Walker keeps a low profile, dodges questions in London.

ByABC News
February 11, 2015, 4:37 PM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker delivers his speech at Chatham House in central London, Feb. 11, 2015.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker delivers his speech at Chatham House in central London, Feb. 11, 2015.
AP Photo

— -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has kept a much lower profile in the United Kingdom this week than his potential 2016 rival New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did last week on his turbulent trip, but he was much more cautious, repeatedly dodging foreign policy and other possibly controversial questions.

Walker was asked several times different foreign policy questions at Chatham House, a policy institute, avoiding all of them, repeatedly saying he didn’t want to weigh in while on a trade mission on foreign soil.

When asked whether the United States and Great Britain should do more to combat ISIS, Walker said, “That’s certainly something I will answer in the United States in the future.”

He also repeated the long-held commitment held by politicians not to criticize the president or his policies while in another country.

“Maybe it is a bit old-fashioned,” Walker said, noting he does disagree with the president on some issues, but “I don’t think it’s wise to undermine the president of your own country” while abroad.

He repeated the answer when asked whether the United States should arm Ukrainian rebels, saying he does “have an opinion on that,” but “I just don’t think you talk about foreign policy when you’re on foreign soil.”

Christie criticized the president as a weak negotiator while he was in the country last week, according to the Washington Post.

“I think the president has shown over and over again that he’s not the most effective negotiator, whether you’re talking about the Iranian nuclear talks or whether you’re talking about his recent foray into Cuba,” Christie said in response to a reporter’s question.

Walker avoided other questions, including the U.K.’s membership in the European Union, what his foreign policy would look like, and on a completely different topic: whether he believes in evolution.

Walker weighed in on the issue after the speech, saying that "both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God."

It was clear he wanted to keep a low profile while abroad -- this was his only open press event on a trip billed as a trade mission -- but also aimed to bolster his foreign policy credentials before of a possible 2016 presidential run. He also met privately with Prime Minister David Cameron and visited Parliament.

Walker even emphasized that low profile, referencing recent media reports describing him as a “bland” presidential candidate for 2016.

“I’d rather be bland than stupid or ignorant or moronic,” he said.

Walker’s cautiousness stood in contrast to Christie, whose trip was overshadowed when he suggested parents should have a “measure of choice” on whether they should vaccinate their children, something his office tried to immediately clarify.

Walker blamed the media for the controversy, saying, “My friend who came here just ... [last week], his comment became the focus even though it probably wasn’t the most substantial thing he did,” he said, referring to Christie.

Walker added that it’s the media that “highlight the people who are the most at odds instead of highlighting the people who are trying to get things done.”

The Democratic National Committee issued a response to Walker’s non-answers with national press secretary Holly Shulman saying in a statement, “For someone who went to London to build his street cred as a serious leader all Walker showed today was the same ducking and dodging Wisconsinites know all too well and that we’ve come to expect from the 2016 GOP field, whose policy positions are just too divisive to share. Would’ve been a lot simpler to just stay home.”

ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.