Face the Nation transcripts December 1, 2013: Menendez, Corker, Walker

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DICKERSON: So anybody running for president, this talk of being able to work across the aisle, that is not useful, in your view?

WALKER: Well, no, I mean, I think it is. I mean, if there are instances where that can work whether one party is in control or it's split government out there. But I think in the end what people want to hear is whether it's Democrat or Republican want they to hear a clear plan of how they'll move forward.

I think the more people look at the mess in Washington, they'll realize that divided government does not work, that gridlock, the fighting for the sake of fighting is not working. If you look at states -- I mean look across America, since last year's convention I pointed out at the convention speech and just about every month since then that the unemployment rate in states led by Republican governors is almost consistently 1 percent lower, 1 percent better than in states led by Democrat governors, that's a real choice.

But can look at the difference between the failures in Illinois, for example, versus the benefits of what's happening in a state like Wisconsin.

You compare Texas to California, Virginia to Maryland, there's example after example out there where people can see the real difference. And those are the sorts of things we talk about in our book called "Unintimidated."

DICKERSON: One of the -- you are getting heralded for your focus. And so I want to ask you about that in a political context, which is you say that in your book you say you were focused on the fiscal issues, but when it comes to social issues, let's not be obsessed about it.

WALKER: I mean, yeah. I'm not backing away from my positions. As you said, I'm proudly pro-life, but for me the reason I was elected in 2010, the reason I was elected again in 2012, the reason I hope I'll be eventually elected yet again in 2014 like other governors across the country, is because we focused obsessively on helping fix the economy and the private sector and helping put in place a balanced budget that can sustain us at both the state and local level. I think people want us to do that. It's not just politically popular, it's what people elect us to do.

I got to the point in the 2010 election where I was so focused on fixing our economic and fiscal crisis, John, you could have asked me in a forum what my mother's maiden name was, and I'd say it's Fitch, and every Fitch I know cares about my plan to get the economy going again and to keep our balanced budget.

DICKERSON: What do the Fitches say, governor, about you running for president? WALKER: Well, I mean, it's flattering. And they're not talking about it because of some great speech I've given, they've talked about it because we've taken real action and real reforms. And I think I'm -- I'm not the only one out there, you look at governors across the country, whether it's Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, John Kasich, Suzanna Martinez, Nicky Haley, Mary Fallin, there are people talking about each of them as well.

Why? Because in each and every one of those states, and many others like them, there are leaders in the Republican Party who are chief executives in the states getting big, bold things done. And I think that's what people are hungry for, not only in the states, but they're hungry for it across the country.

DICKERSON: All right, last question, governor, are you running?

WALKER: I'm running for governor. I'll make that announcement officially in 2014. And we'll see what happens after that.

Ultimately, my decision will be made not just by myself and my family but I've got to look at my state. My state has gone through a lot the last couple of years. And there's a part of me that would just like to stay focused on helping the state move forward.

So, we'll see what the future holds. But for now, I'm focused on being governor.

DICKERSON: All right, Governor Scott Walker, thanks so much for being with us.

We'll be right back.


DICKERSON: There's a lot more "Face the Nation" ahead, including analysis from our panel and a conversation with the authors of three new presidential biographies: Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism,: Scott Berg is the author of "Wilson" and Peter Baker is the author of "Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney In the White House."

Stay with us.


DICKERSON: Some of our stations are leaving us now. But for most of you we'll be right back with a lot more of "Face the Nation." Stay with us.


DICKERSON: Welcome back to "Face the Nation." For some analysis we're joined by former Obama White House chief of staff now CBS News contributor Bill Daley and Bill Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard Bill Daley, I'm going to start with you, this news from the website, it's doing better--

I'll start with you. This news from the website it's doing better. Is the White House and administration back on the good road here?

BILL DALEY, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's obviously I'm sure there's a lot of relief at the White House. They know that they got a very deep hole to come out of. Obviously if the success that they are predicting is going to begin by virtue of the website being up and running better is fulfilled and then grows off of that they have taken the enormous step to begin to come back.

You know, this is a game of sports analogy here would be it's singles and doubles, there are no triples or home runs to begin to change this equation. So I think this is a very solid double. But it's a long game. And they've got a lot of hits to be made by them in a positive way.