During an interview with Fox News Sunday that aired today, host Chris Wallace showed footage from July 2, 2013, when the Wausau Daily Herald asked Walker, “Can you envision a world where, with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet the requirements, where those people could get citizenship?”
“Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think it makes sense,” Walker responded at the time.
“Isn’t that amnesty?” Wallace asked Walker.
Walker responded that he has changed his view on immigration, in part due to what he called the president’s “mishandling” of the issue, and speaking with voters and border-state governors.
“I don’t believe in amnesty, and part of the reason why I’ve made that a firm position is I look at the way this president has mishandled this issue,” Walker said. “I think the better approach is to enforce the laws and to give employers, job creators, the tools like e-verify and other things to make sure the law is being upheld going forward.”
Walker added that “the better approach is to enforce the laws.”
Wallace countered that Walker’s statement was different than what he said in 2013.
“My view has changed. I’m flat-out saying it,” Walker said. “A candidate can say that. Sometimes they don’t.”
Walker said that the first step in any new system for legal immigration must be to secure the border, “or none of these plans make any sense.”
The interview was taped last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Walker came in second behind Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in CPAC’s annual presidential straw poll.
Here’s how some reacted to Walker’s comments on Twitter:
— Kinji Ridley, MBA (@kinji3pr) March 1, 2015
— jeaniebgd (@jeaniebgd) March 1, 2015
Sounds like Scott Walker has come around to my position on amnesty. I like that. #CPAC2015
— Joe Dunn (@JoeDunn8) March 1, 2015
— Dan Wardy (@WardyPawns) March 1, 2015
Disappointed that @ScottWalker caved and flip flopped on immigration. To be president requires sticking to unpopular positions sometimes.
— Thoughts N. Views (@Thoughtsnviews) March 1, 2015
— James Norton (@jamesnorton99) March 1, 2015