Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been facing a firestorm after he refused to say this weekend whether he thinks people choose to be gay. Walker told CNN’s Dana Bash that he didn’t “know the answer to that question,” all the while boasting in the same interview that “people find [it] unique” that “I actually answer questions. People ask me a question, I’ll answer a question.”
Walker’s (non)comments on homosexuality come after the Republican presidential candidate said that he supported the Boy Scouts of America’s current ban on gay scoutmasters “because it protected children and advanced Scout values.”
Incomprehensibly, a campaign spokesman later said that Walker was only saying that “the previous policy protected Scouts from the rancorous political debate over policy issues and culture war.”
But snubbing direct questions and finding ways to take contradicting stances on basic policy issues has been the way Walker has been campaigning from the beginning.
1) ‘Punt’ on Evolution
Walker raised eyebrows earlier this year when he refused to answer a straightforward question on whether he believes in the theory of evolution, explaining: “I’m going to punt on that one as well. That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other. So I’m going to leave that up to you.”
When asked about it again days later, Walker stood by his refusal to answer the question, simply saying that he thinks “science and my faith aren’t incompatible.”
2) ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama Is A Christian
Following his “punt” on evolution, Walker fielded a question from the Washington Post on whether he believes that President Obama is a Christian. “I don’t know,” Walker replied, a stance he continued to take even after he was “told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith,” explaining: “I’ve never asked him that.”
A spokesman later told the Post that Walker does believe Obama is a Christian, he just didn’t want to answer “gotcha questions.”
3) ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama Loves America
At the very same event where Walker refused to say whether he believes Obama is a Christian, the Wisconsin governor also declined to answer a question about whether Obama loves America.
Walker, who attended the dinner at which Rudy Giuliani claimed that Obama doesn’t love his country, told reporters: “You should ask the president what he thinks about America. I’ve never asked him so I don’t know.”
4) ‘There’s Not A Flip Out There’ On Immigration
Walker has been all over the place on immigration reform, from supporting a path to citizenship, then denouncing such a move as “amnesty” and saying that even legal immigration should be curbed, to then telling a group of New Hampshire GOP bigwigs that he supports a path to citizenship. More recently, Alex Leary at the Tampa Bay Times reported that Scott Walker is “dead set against a path to citizenship.”
To make things even more confusing, Walker said recently that he actually hasn’t flip-flopped on the issue since, as governor, he has never voted on the issue like a member of the legislature would.
“There’s not a flip out there,” Walker said. “A flip would be someone who voted on something and did something different. I don’t have any impact on immigration as a governor or former county official.”
Since he didn’t vote on anything because he was an executive official, Walker said, it doesn’t count, no matter what he has said in the past.
5) Misleading on Abortion Rights
During his race for re-election, Walker defended anti-choice legislation he signed by insisting in a TV ad that “the bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”
Such remarks weren’t received well by anti-choice activists, who agreed with Walker’s pro-choice detractors that the governor was trying to make it seem like he was protecting reproductive rights and keeping abortion “safe” for women.
Now as a presidential candidate, Walker has been catering to anti-choice leaders, reportedly telling them that, as one paraphrased, he was “using the language of the other side” to promote his anti-abortion views.
When Laura Ingraham, a right-wing radio host, asked him last week, “You don’t believe the final decision should be between a woman and her doctor?,” Walker said, “No.”
At least he finally answered that question in a straightforward way. It’s too bad that he rarely gives such clear answers to voters.