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Walker Talks Trade in UK But Brushes Away 2016, ISIS, Evolution Questions

He spoke about his home state's economy during what has been advertised as a trade mission to the United Kingdom.
Image: Scott Walker
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker laughs as he is introduced prior to his speech at Chatham House in central London, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Walker is leading a coalition of Wisconsin government and business officials on a trade mission in the UK that runs until Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The trip gives him a chance to bolster his overseas and foreign policy credentials as he considers running for US President in 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker focused on trade issues while traveling in London Wednesday but brushed away questions on ISIS, his 2016 aspirations and even evolution.

Walker, who appeared at the Chatham House think-tank, spoke about his home state's innovations in industries like health care and water technology during what has been advertised as a trade mission to the United Kingdom.

But when asked by BBC radio host Justin Webb whether Britain should be doing more in the fight against ISIS, Walker said he would adhere to the political tradition of declining to comment on policy while traveling outside the United States.

Asked about political polarization in his home country, Walker noted that a potential rival - Gov. Chris Christie - had been at the center of a media frenzy while on a similar mission to the UK just last week.

Mentioning Christie's comments on parental choice in vaccinations, Walker suggested the remarks became the focus of the New Jersey governor's trip "even though it probably wasn't the most substantive thing he was talking about here."

"I think that's a good example of where there is this almost magnetic thing where they go to whatever is the most glaring headline out there even though it's not the most substantive," he said of the American media.

Walker's refusal to answer a question about his views on evolution has itself prompted its own headlines.

Asked by Webb if he is "comfortable with the idea of evolution," Walker responded "For me, I'm going to punt on that one as well."

"It's just one of those that I'm here to talk about trade, not to pontificate on other issues," he added. "I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin. It's going well and I'd like to see an even bigger evolution."

Later Wednesday, Walker issued a written statement clarifying those remarks.

"Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God," he said in an written statement, which he also later tweeted. "I believe faith and science are compatible, and go hand in hand."

On Twitter, he added:

The Democratic National Committee criticized Walker for avoiding questions.

“For someone who went to London to build his street cred as a serious leader all Walker showed today was the same ducking and dodging Wisconsinites know all too well and that we’ve come to expect from the 2016 GOP field, whose policy positions are just too divisive to share,” said DNC National Press Secretary Holly Shulman

- Carrie Dann, Marc Smith and Sarah Burke