At White House, Gov. Walker Dodges 2016 Intentions, Calls for Bipartisanship

By Fred Lucas | December 4, 2012 | 2:08 PM EST

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker waves at his victory party Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Waukesha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

( – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, after joining fellow governors in a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday, said he is only focused on running his own state now.

A reporter asked, “In the shadow of the White House here, 2016, is that in your sights?”

Walker waived off the question.

“I ran too hard to be governor two times in the last two years. I’ll stay focused on being governor,” Walker told reporters after the White House meeting. He was referring to winning a union-funded recall election over the summer less than two years after he was first elected in the blue state in 2010.

The recall was prompted after Walker’s spending control measures that reduced some of the state’s generous pay and benefits package for Wisconsin state employees.

Walker is a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association, which met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden about states’ concerns over the fiscal cliff, in which tax increases and budget increases are set to take effect on Jan. 1.

A reporter asked Walker if he had concerns about being a leader of the conservative movement and meeting with the president.

“The bottom line, and actually I think this would be a good lesson for everybody in Washington, what you see here at this meeting, a lot of time I think there is a gotcha mentality of what did one side say or what did the other side say,” Walker said.

“You have a collection of governors, both Republican and Democrat representing all 50 governors in this country, that didn’t get off on the fringes, didn’t get off on our pet projects,” Walker continued.

“Instead we said we hope there’s going to be something that happens here. In the end we hope it’s something positive for our states both in our finances and also for our states’ economies. We felt, collectively the people we represent, fellow governors, unites us not divides us,” he said.