Gov. Walker speaks at national conference - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Gov. Walker speaks at national conference


NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker takes the stage in the third and final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Republican leaders from across the country gather at the conference every year, including possible presidential candidates. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan spoke on Friday about his plan to balance the federal budget.

On Saturday, Gov. Scott Walker spoke to the crowd to talk about why he decided not to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin.

"When we made our decision about Medicaid, not to take the Medicaid expansion, we didn't do it in a vacuum between a yes or no proposition," Walker says. "In my state, I said I want to reduce the number of people who are uninsured, but I also want to reduce the number of people who are on Medicaid because I want more people in the market. I want more people in the market cause they have jobs and opportunity because that means freedom and prosperity, not more government dependence."

While he was at CPAC, Walker told reporters he is not ruling out a presidential run, which could cut his second term as Wisconsin's governor short. When asked by the online publication, POLITICO, Walker reportedly answered "Would I ever be (interested)? possibly. I guess the only thing I'd say is that I'm not ruling it out."

UW-Milwaukee governmental affairs professor Mordecai Lee says he thinks the timing of Walker's comments makes sense.

"What Scott Walker is doing now is he's saying: I'd like to keep the option open, I want the voters to know in Wisconsin, I want to be successful as governor, but I don't want anybody trying to ambush me by saying: Oh he's really running for president. I'm saying it openly," says Lee.

Democrats are responding to the idea of Governor Walker running for president. Melissa Baldauff, with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin says the governor should look at what's going on here in Wisconsin first.

"We've had record job loss, we are trailing all of the Midwest in job creation and basically every economic indicator, I think it's pretty shocking but it's unfortunately not surprising," says Baldauff.

Governor Walker's current term ends in 2014.

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