Walker tells donors he doesn’t want cabinet post

SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press writer

Gov. Scott Walker said this week that he won’t accept a cabinet position if a Republican is elected president, plans to stay on as Wisconsin’s governor through the end of his term and is undecided about seeking a third term in 2018.

Walker made the comments in a conference call where he thanked donors for their support in his campaign, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which listened in on the call.

Walker’s campaign spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski was not on the call and told The Associated Press she could not immediately verify his comments as reported by the Journal Sentinel.

Walker returned to work in his Capitol office on Sept. 22, meeting with staff and state lawmakers. His first public appearance since abruptly dropping out of the presidential race Sept. 21 is set for today, at an anniversary celebration for a business in Beaver Dam.

Walker has not spoken publicly since his brief 4-minute address announcing that he was quitting the presidential race just 70 days after he got in. Walker dropped out as financial support dried up and his poll numbers in early voting states dropped below 1 percent.

But in the call with donors, the Journal Sentinel said Walker told them his campaign lacked the money needed to continue. Even with a smaller staff and budget, and potentially going into debt, he was not convinced he could still win the nomination, the newspaper said Walker told donors.

“When revenues are not meeting expenses you’ve got to look seriously at what action to take,” Walker said. “I was looking at whether a change would change the outcome as opposed to delaying the outcome.”

Walker also expressed particular frustration with the second GOP debate last week in California, saying that many of the questions revolved around negative attacks made by Donald Trump against other candidates. In his speech Monday ending his campaign, didn’t name Trump but said other candidates should “clear the field” so someone can emerge to surpass him.

With Walker out of the presidential race, Democrats renewed their call for him to follow through on a promise to reimburse taxpayers for travel costs of his state-funded security detail.

Those State Patrol officers are with the governor around the clock, but critics said it wasn’t right for taxpayers to pay for their travel costs as Walker campaigned for president around the country.

Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, of Green Bay, and Rep. Katrina Shankland, of Stevens Point, said Walker should immediately pay the security detail’s travel costs. They cited media reports quoting Walker’s former campaign manager Rick Wiley as saying that the campaign has expenses as large as $800,000, with $1 million cash on hand.

The campaign paid the state back $14,000 for costs incurred through Aug. 1, and will pay all that is owed once final invoices are received, Walker’s campaign spokeswoman Kukowski said.

Our American Revival, a political committee Walker formed in January before he officially became a candidate, made two payments to the state, according to an IRS filing. It shows the committee paid the state $33,427 on June 25 for security services and $5,829 on May 26 for use of a state vehicle.