Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will decide next week which candidate he intends to vote for in the state’s upcoming presidential primary and whether he will publicly endorse that person, the Republican told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday.
Walker ended his own run for president in September with a call for others in the GOP field to drop out so it would be easier to take on front-runner Donald Trump. But now with just Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich left trying to derail Trump, Walker remains reluctant to publicly back either one.
“I’m more in line, both in thought and process, with Cruz or Kasich than I would be with Trump,” Walker told the AP on Tuesday. “But part of it is trying to decide that. For me, personally, the biggest reason why I haven’t done more sooner is I’ve been focused on Wisconsin.”
Walker spoke to AP by telephone as he traveled from Madison to Green Bay, where he was to sign a trio of bills designed to help people deal with dementia.
Time is running out for Walker to have any influence on the state’s primary, which is just two weeks away. How much sway he will have is also a question, given that his approval rating hasn’t risen above 40 percent in a year.
Both Cruz and Kasich had campaign stops planned in the Milwaukee area on Wednesday, but Walker said he would not appear at either. Should he endorse someone, Walker said he would campaign with them as much as needed before April 5.
“I know John Kasich well. I got to know Sen. Cruz over the campaign,” Walker said. “I like each of them; they’re perfectly fine.”
Cruz has been picking up support in Wisconsin this week, with conservative Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes and the Right Wisconsin political website endorsing him.
Cruz was set to appear Wednesday night at an event hosted by Sykes in Pewaukee. A number of other leading conservatives are also slated to be there, including Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley, who is also on the April 5 ballot.
Cruz also won the backing of state Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, who had backed Marco Rubio before the Florida senator dropped out last week. A number of other state lawmakers have endorsed Cruz.
Kasich has the support of former Gov. Tommy Thompson and former U.S. Reps. Mark Neumann and Scott Klug, all of whom Kasich worked with while he was in Congress.
Walker said just like voters, he is trying to determine which candidate can actually follow through on their promises.
“Whoever of the remaining candidates can show they’re going to take on the status quo, they’re going to take on Washington, but can actually deliver on those promises, I think that’s the candidate or candidates who will do well in the primary,” Walker said. “I think they each can make a case on it.”