Back from trip to New Hampshire, Governor Walker talks with Wisconsin reporters, responds to criticism

LA CROSSE (WITI) -- Governor Walker was back in Wisconsin Monday, March 16th after making stops in New Hampshire over the weekend. Walker, like other potential candidates, has stopped short of formally announcing a run for the White House, but he continues to lay the groundwork.

In the early-primary state of New Hampshire Saturday, Governor Walker outlined his visions for economic growth and domestic security.

Two days later in La Crosse, he answered questions from reporters in Wisconsin for the first time in nearly three weeks. Walker responded to criticism from fellow Republicans, who say he's changed his stance on issues like abortion and Right-to-Work legislation.

"Most of those other issues are just would-be campaigns trying to draw attention away from I think what's been largely a positive response," Walker said.

Walker answered the questions after speaking at a tourism conference.

State Democrats say Walker has forgotten about his job while considering a run for president.

"He's using working Wisconsin families as a pawn to advance his own personal political goals," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Melissa Baldauff said.

As Walker prepares to visit South Carolina, another early-primary state this Thursday, March 19th, Republican strategist Mark Graul believes Walker will continue to connect with voters and donors.

"He's one of the few candidates right now that really does appeal across the Republican spectrum. Both those more to the right, those more to the center," Graul said.

Graul expects potential Republican opponents will keep raising questions about Walker's foreign policy credentials.

Graul also believes the early attention will stay heavy on the GOP, because former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely considered the favorite among potential Democratic nominees.

Walker has said he won't announce a decision about a presidential run until mid-summer. Graul expects the governor will stick to that timeline.