Scott Walker: 2016 GOP Nominee Should Be a Former or Current Governor

By Susan Jones | November 18, 2013 | 7:18 AM EST

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks to ABC's Jon Karl in November 2013. (Photo from ABC's website)

( - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the next Republican presidential nominee should be someone like him:

"I think it's got to be an outsider," Walker told ABC News in an interview that aired on Sunday.

"I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominees should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who've taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward."

Walker in 2011 successfully limited the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions in an effort to balance Wisconsin's budget, but not without a political fight that brought him national attention, both positive and negative.

Walker admitted that his "outsider" criteria rules out people like Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul -- even Paul Ryan, who is also from Wisconsin.

"All good guys," Walker said, "but it's got to be somebody who is viewed as being exceptionally remote from Washington."

Walker is seeking a second term as governor in 2014, and he made it clear that he has never committed himself to serving a full second term.

"In my case, I have never made that commitment I've had for any office." He said his calling right now is to be Wisconsin governor, but when it comes to the possibility of running for president, "I don't rule anything out."

Asked his opinion of the tea party ("tarnished in many ways," the liberal Jon Karl told him), Scott said the movement is not "monolithic."

"I, like others, was a bit frustrated with the shutdown because I don't think the way you make the compelling case to the American people that we can do better is by shutting things down."

"So the Republicans who pushed that strategy made a mistake?" Karl asked him.

"I think so," Scott replied. In fact, the Republican strategy, pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, was not to shut down the government, but to defund Obamacare. Rather than accept funding for everything other than Obamacare, Democrats allowed the government to shut down and then blamed Republicans.

Walker told ABC's Karl that Congress' approval rating has fallen to a record low of 9 percent, but he said that doesn't apply to Republicans at the state level:

"Republicans at the state level are showing we're much more optimistic, we're speaking in terms that are much more relevant to where real voters are at."

"And Republicans in Congress, it's just about what? No, no, no?" Karl asked.

"Yeah, I think so. I think that's a real problem," Walker replied.