Scott Walker punts on evolution

Updated

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker never said he was a scientist. That much became clear in an exchange between the potential 2016 Republican presidential contender and a journalist Wednesday in London.

The question lobbed at Walker by an event moderator was one many people would consider a softball: “Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution, do you believe in it, do you accept it?” asked Justin Webb, a presenter for BBC Radio 4.

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“For me, I’m going to punt on that one, as well,” answered Walker, who made the trip across the pond in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials just weeks after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential 2016 candidate, did the same. Walker added that evolution is an issue “a politician shouldn’t be involved with one way or the other.”

Walker attempted to clarify his comments in a statement emailed to NBC News by an aide on Wednesday.  “Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God,” he said. “I believe faith and science are compatible, and go hand in hand.”

Nonetheless, even the moderator of the initial exchange was taken aback by Walker’s evasion. Webb noted that the question — often asked of senior Republicans who visit London —  would not stymie “any British politician, right or left wing.”

Instead, Walker not-so-subtly shifted the conversation to his official reason for visiting England: Trade between his Midwestern state and the UK.

“I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s going well and I’d like to see an even bigger evolution.”

Evolution — as well as science-oriented topics like climate change and vaccinations — remains a topic that could set Walker apart with a core component of his conservative target.

Scott Walker, United Kingdom and Wisconsin

Scott Walker punts on evolution

Updated