WASHINGTON -- Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) affirmed on Sunday that he would not seek to end birthright citizenship as president, seemingly bringing to an end a days-long grapple for a definitive position on the issue.
“No,” said the Wisconsin Republican when asked if he was “seeking to repeal or alter the 14 Amendment,” during an interview with ABC’s "This Week."
Walker’s position on the topic -- which has moved from the fringes of the Republican Party to a mainstay of the campaign trail -- has not so much evolved as jumped around in the past week. Shortly after businessman Donald Trump said he wanted to end birthright citizenship, Walker was quoted as saying he’d want to do the same.
“Yeah,” he told NBC’s Kasie Hunt, when asked if “we should end birthright citizenship.”
He then gradually backed off that stance, arguing that the debate should be focused first on securing the border, since once full security was achieved, the issue of birthright citizenship would become moot. (Note: That would be true for people who come to the United States illegally but not necessarily for those who overstay their visas.)
On Friday, he told CNBC that he wasn’t taking a position on the 14 Amendment “one way or the other,” which raised the question of why he took a position on it in the first place.
Walker said his initial answer was given during a long day on the trail with little attention to the question. The Washington Post reported, however, that a top donor had privately fumed about the governor’s statement.
By Sunday, the 180-degree turn was complete. Walker still argued that any discussion of birthright citizenship was pointless until border security was achieved. But he was also no longer pledging changes to the 14 Amendment either.
“My point is, any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing the laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry because those politicians haven’t been committed to following through on those promises,” he said.
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