Gov. Scott Walker: Rand Paul is 'wrong' on ISIS

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 28, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Then there were 100.

All right, I'm exaggerating, but talk about a crowded field, the latest Quinnipiac poll showing that five Republican candidates are all tied at the top at 10 percent of voter support, include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who told me moments ago he is not at all worried.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Well, as a kid, I ran track. So my coach always used to say a lot of times I would win by whipping around the end that last quarter lap there and...


CAVUTO: Me too, me too, although I was in a car. But go ahead.

WALKER: Well, see, there you have it.

And he'd always say, you know, Scott, it's a lot easier if you just are ahead the whole time. In the end, there are going to be ups and downs.  That's what's exciting about a process -- I haven't even announced whether I'm a declared candidate or not. But...


CAVUTO: But when the legislative session ends in Wisconsin...

WALKER: Into June, our session will be done.

CAVUTO: Right. Yes.

WALKER: Our budget will be completed and we'll do our fifth and sixth year in a row of property tax relief. And then after that, we'll make our intentions known to the public.

CAVUTO: All right.

There are a lot of money types in the party that are giving to you hand over fist, as they are to Jeb Bush, as they are to Marco Rubio. And it gets back to my argument we could have many candidates staying in longer because they'll have plenty of money to stay in longer.

And you add to that the proportion of the delegates -- unlike before, where a lot of states were winner-take-all -- what do you think?

WALKER: I think that's healthy.

I think the contrast to having a party that's anointing essentially a candidate is not going to be tested out there. We're going to be tested.  We're going to have to try out our ideas. For those of us who may or may not get in, we're going to have to go to the American people, state by state, state our case, make the argument strong.

I -- it's exciting. I've run, as you know -- Neil, you've seen me. You've been there firsthand in Wisconsin during the recall election. We've won three times in four years in a state that hadn't gone Republican for president since 1984. We did it not just with Republican votes, but with 11, almost 12-point margin amongst independents.

What they're looking for is someone who's going to fight for them, someone who's going to fight and win every single day for hardworking taxpayers.

CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you this, because you argue this debate is going to be good for the party. And maybe it is. I just wonder, when Rand Paul says stuff like ISIS exists because of GOP war hawks, what do you think of a statement like that, because you have questioned Rand Paul's filibuster- like performance in the well of the Senate, that it was counterproductive?

I'm paraphrasing here. So I'm just wondering how divisive that is.

WALKER: I just respectfully disagree with Senator Paul.

And I believe the reason that we're facing troubles in not only that region, but around the world, is because of the lack of American leadership. When you see it not just in Syria, not just on Iraq, you see it with our going down the path towards a supposed agreement with Iran, you see it with Putin creeping into the Ukraine, you see it with islands of sand being built in the South China Sea -- I think there's a consistent theme around the world.

And that is as people who are friends or foe look around and they see an absence under this president, and not just under the Obama doctrine, but largely under the Obama-Clinton doctrine, they see a lack of leadership in the world. And I think that's going to make it very difficult for the next president, not impossible, but difficult.

We need to establish leadership again in the world. And that certainly doesn't mean by looking around for who to blame, but rather to say, how do we have solutions that make us safe again?

CAVUTO: But that's pretty severe, to say ISIS exists because of GOP power...

WALKER: I just think he's wrong on that.


WALKER: I think, unfortunately -- you know, I respect Senator Paul on a lot of other issues. I'm a big fan of him on limiting the size and scope of the federal government.

CAVUTO: Then you can support him as a nominee if he were the nominee?

WALKER: Well, I think he has a lot of good things about him. I think he's just wrong on this one.

And it's one of those, where Republican or Democrat alike, if somebody is saying something wrong, I'm not going to criticize them personally. But I do think there's a tendency out there for certain candidates to go after people on a personality basis.

I think we should talk about the facts, and the facts are clear. Americans are worried about our security here and abroad. They're worried about having a commander in chief who's willing to protect the national security interests of this country.

And now more than ever, we need...


CAVUTO: Well, therein lies the second part of that rift, if you want to call it that, with Rand Paul and others in the party over this whole NSA issue and the Patriot Act.

You had claimed that, again, back from what I was saying, that for Rand Paul to try to compromise that was a mistake and that what he did -- his people immediately got back, a spokesperson, saying of you, "It is a shame to see that the Washington machine has co-opted Governor Walker on this crucial issue."

What do you think of that?

WALKER: Well, again, that's one of those where you're not -- you're going to see something different from us, should we choose to get in. We're not going to take cheap shots. We're not going to go attacking other candidates, other campaigns.

We're just going to lay out the facts. And the facts are pretty clear.  Anyone who's seen the videos of the Jordanian burned alive in a cage, anyone who's seen the videotape of the Egyptian Christians who were beheaded or shot, anyone who's seen what happened in France and in Belgium and in...


CAVUTO: But what does that have to do with the NSA?

WALKER: Well, it all ties together.

We've seen a growing trend. I think more -- now more than ever, Americans realize this isn't something that's just happening over there. I mean, France is a good example. I think that many people look at what happened in France and say that was because the French government for a while was tracking individuals like this. For a variety of reasons, financial and otherwise, they set it to the side.

Now you see an overreaction, what some may argue might be an overreaction in terms of the people in France to go even further than the Patriot Act because of what they saw there. We need to have a responsible way that is legal and constitutional, but a way that we can make sure that if someone is an enemy combatant or aligned with an enemy combatant in the United States and the people of this great country, we've got to have the tools we need to prevent another act from happening.

CAVUTO: Well, would you be OK, then, in the future if the government wanted to collect 120 million Americans' phone records just to be safe?

WALKER: No, I think this is where the balance has got to go. There's some who blindly want go down one way.

CAVUTO: Do you think that part was a mistake?

WALKER: There are others who want to go too far the other way.

But I think there's a way to put in place appropriate checks and balances to ensure we protect the very civil liberties that American men and women have fought for, for so long in our military, but do so in a way that doesn't just concede our ability to track enemy combatants and those that would seek to do harm.

CAVUTO: Switching back to your state and what's going on, you made mandatory ultrasounds in you state. I think you had said to the effect that sometimes, when you see an ultrasound of a child -- you were talking about your own sons in this case -- that it's kind of cool.

Now, I knew what you meant by that. But obviously that was not the reception that you got at Planned Parenthood, whose president put out a statement: "Women are very clear that forced government ultrasounds are not cool."

What do you think?

WALKER: Well, they're just wrong.

This is a typical example of the left, not just leftist organizations, but some even in the left in the media, take out of context comments out there.

You're right. I talked about -- my kids are 19 and 20. Tonette and I still have the first ultrasound picture that was taken of both. And that's something that we treasure. That was each of our children. In fact, Matthew actually had the side of his head turned so you could see his hand in his mouth, what appeared to be sucking on his thumb.

CAVUTO: That's so cool, because mine had an iPhone.


CAVUTO: It was the weirdest thing, but...



CAVUTO: But, immediately, they said, hey, stay out, Governor. Don't -- this is none of your business.

WALKER: Well, and they're pushing back on it, saying I said it was cool.

I think ultrasounds are cool. And they tried to mischaracterize our law, says, simply put, if someone's going to go in for an abortion, we require the provide -- whoever's doing that procedure has to provide access to an ultrasound, a traditional ultrasound, not the kind they've claimed out there, because we believe -- as someone who's pro-life, I believe that if someone has access to seeing that information, they can look at it, not forced to, but if they can look at if they so choose, if that's available, chances are they're going to pick life. They're going to pick the life of that unborn child. I think it's a great thing.

And if they don't, under the law, they don't have to. But the reality is, I think those on the left are afraid of people actually having information.  They say they're pro-choice, but they don't want an informed choice.

CAVUTO: Do you get a sense right now with the race the way it is -- it's still early on -- that you have to pick and choose your battles? And I think of Florida, because that could conceivably a winner-take-all state in and delegates. They haven't decided that.

But you raise some eyebrows when you consider the possibility of skipping out on that, should you run for president, and I think let Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio fight it out.

Is that true?

WALKER: Well, just to be clear, what I said with a friend of ours Laura Ingraham on the -- on the radio this past week was that there's not a state out there we didn't think we could play in.

People have asked, are you going to play in this state or that state? I said, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, if we were to choose to get in, those are all states -- some candidates pick and choose which ones. I said we could play, I believe, arguably, anywhere in the country.

The point I made was the exception of saying, what state could you win in, well, I think it's a challenge in a state like...

CAVUTO: But if you enter the race, are you saying that you would compete in Florida?

WALKER: Well, I think we can compete anywhere.

I'm going to be with Rick Scott, my friend Governor Rick Scott in Florida, in Orlando, next week.

CAVUTO: We'll see you there?

WALKER: We're not conceding anywhere. I'm just pointing out that Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are going to have the distinct advantage in Florida.

CAVUTO: So, you think that one of them is going to...

WALKER: They may spend a lot of their money there.

CAVUTO: One of them is going to win that state?

WALKER: So, I think that, right now, at least the polls show -- we'll make the case anywhere in the country, including Florida.

CAVUTO: But you're not nixing it?

WALKER: No, because, in the end, and if I'm going to run, and if I ultimately become the nominee, Florida's critically important. It's a state that...

CAVUTO: Absolutely.


WALKER: My grandfather was a machinist for 42 years, actually spent his last retirement years down in Fort Myers just so he could go fishing.


CAVUTO: Not a bad place to do that.

Real quickly, too, on the August Iowa straw poll. Are you going to participate?

WALKER: Well, we're not committing to anything until we make a decision as to whether we're in or not. Anything that requires, be it a...

CAVUTO: I ask because many aren't. They're opting out.

WALKER: Well, some aren't. And I get why some have said that. I think that's something -- we'll have to made a decision once we make an announcement as to what our intentions are.

But we're not committing to any forums, any debates, any straw polls until we've ultimately made an announcement as to what we're going to...

CAVUTO: But you can't win on this one, right? I mean, you lead in a lot of polls in Iowa. If you nix that, then Iowans might be offended. If you participate and you don't do well, what...


WALKER: I think either way, in the end, what voters in Iowa want to do is, they want to hear from you personally. They want to show up. I was just in Iowa a weekend ago. We're going to be back again in the -- in the future. We're going to be back often.

I spent seven years of my life as a kid from 1970 to '77 in Plainfield, Iowa, a little town of about 450, where my dad was a minister at the First Baptist Church. So we'll be going back to Plainfield and to Davenport and Des Moines and Dubuque and to Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids and Sioux City and Sioux Falls.

CAVUTO: So, you know all those cities.

WALKER: Sioux Falls is just...


CAVUTO: All right, all right.

WALKER: Friends of mine grew up just on the other side of the state line there, too.


CAVUTO: Well, he certainly does sound like he's running. Did Scott Walker just hint, though, if he does, who his running mate will be?

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