Scott Walker: ‘I’m Not Taking A Position’ On Birthright Citizenship

August 21, 2015 2:09 p.m.

Turns out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) isn’t so comfortable being grouped in with Donald Trump’s hardline anti-immigration stances after all.

Asked by CNBC’s John Harwood about ending birthright citizenship — an effort Trump has endorsed — Walker said Friday, “I’m not taking a position on it one way or another.”

He added, “Until you secure the borders and enforce the laws, any discussion about anything else is really looking past the very things we have to do.”

Since Trump included in his immigration platform Sunday the elimination of the longstanding practice of granting U.S. citizenship to anyone born on American soil, the issue has split the GOP 2016 primary.

On Monday, Walker called Trump’s plan “very similar” to his. But when asked that same day by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt whether he supported ending birthright citizenship, Walker waffled on the issue.

First he said, “it’s not right for this country,” and “that’s something we should, yeah, absolutely, going forward…”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

But when pressed again by Hunt, he appeared to walk his support back, pivoting to a discussion of “enforcing the laws in this country.”

To confuse matters further, his campaign issued a statement following his comments Monday: “We have to enforce the laws, keep people from coming here, enforce E-Verify to stop the jobs magnet, and by addressing the root problems we will end the birthright citizenship problem.”

Despite refusing to sign on to Trump’s opposition birthright citizenship, Walker embraced other aspects of Trump’s plan.

“A lot of things he’s talked about, I talked about months ago,” Walker said Friday.

Update: Scott Walker took to Twitter to further clarify his views after the CNBC interview.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Editor for Content Strategy and Audience Development:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: