Gov. Scott Walker is trying to downplay the discussion of him making a run for president in 2016.
In an interview with News 3, Walker said he's not promising new national policy but won't commit to serving out a second term if he's re-elected next year.
Walker said he wrote a book for the people of Wisconsin.
"Really for anybody," Walker said. "Some people thought, 'Oh, its for conservatives.' But what I'd love is for every undecided voter in the state of Wisconsin to read this book, whether they buy it or pick it up from someone else or get it from the library. Because I think people know the how and a little bit of the what, but they don't know the why. Why we did what we did here in Wisconsin and why it's working."
Walker said he decided to write the book in the fall of last year, when it was suggested by others.
"I didn't do what a lot of politicians do as well, and I didn't get a ghostwriter," said Walker. "I had someone sit down and work with me and put his name right on the cover. Every Sunday night, we'd Skype between 6-9:30 p.m. for about six months, and he really got a sense for who I was, and I walked him through the narrative. We went through all the information, brought my family and my kids in, some of my supporters in."
"But I wanted people in my state to be clear that I wasn't spending my time as a governor writing a book," Walker said. "That somebody else was in charge of helping me put it together."
Walker now is trying to make the case that pundits should not see the book and recent media interviews as setting the stage for higher office.
"Actually, it runs counter to what conventional wisdom is," Walker said. "Normally, people running for office tell a biographical overview in their books, and I don't do that at all. I've said repeatedly if people want to know about how I became an Eagle Scout or any of the other things I did as a kid, they're going to be disappointed and will have to go to one of our websites to read the biography. This is really focused on the reforms and the people of Wisconsin, how it works, how it continues to benefit and what other states can learn from it."
"That's great, but there's not a lot of other big, bold national policy in there," Walker said. "It's about Wisconsin and the lessons learned from this state."
News 3 asked Walker why his pledge to create 250,000 jobs by 2015 does not appear in the book and whether he now regrets making that promise.
"No, and I'll tell you why," Walker said. "When I saw what was the impact of the four years of Jim Doyle's last term, when we lost 133,000 jobs in the state, I saw it wasn't just jobs, it wasn't just a statistic, it was real people. It was real homes in real communities, and I wanted a big, bold aggressive target to not only make up for jobs lost but set us on an aggressive path going forward."
"The reason I don't talk about it in the book is because the book isn't a chronological, not a biography, it's about our reforms," Walker said. "But in no way do we back away from that."
Walker has said he would not commit to serving out a second term "because it's about what you do in the term and not about the time you serve."
News 3 asked him why voters should support someone who wouldn't commit to serving their term of office.
"For the same reason people voted for me before, because I've never committed to a term in my life," Walker said. "I didn't do it in the legislature, didn't do it as a county executive, didn't do it when I came in as governor. What I commit to, the promises I will make, unlike others, are for substantive things I will get done during my time as governor."
A state appeals court Friday declined to put a halt to an ongoing John Doe investigation that has reportedly been looking into connections between the governor's recall campaign and conservative groups in the state. News 3 asked Walker whether he believes that this investigation will be connected to him or implicate him in any way.
"I don't know enough to comment on it," Walker said. "I saw what was in the paper last week, in the Wall Street Journal, and that's more information than I've seen up until this point. I do think Wisconsin is always interesting and never dull, particularly around election time. But at this point, I don't know enough to comment, and I'll leave it up to the people who are authorized to do so."
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