Walker sees 'gaps' in 2016 field

Story highlights

  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said "gaps" in the potential 2016 field have encouraged him to run
  • He took jabs at his potential opponents, saying voters don't want a "name from the past"
  • Walker said he'll use his new nonprofit to test out his potential presidential pitch

Washington (CNN)Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said on Wednesday he is contemplating a run for president because of "gaps" he sees in the 2016 presidential field.

"I look at who might be able to step up and take on those challenges, and to me, I see a lot of good people out there, but I see gaps," he told conservative talk-radio host Charlie Sykes.
He said he believes Americans are looking for "fresh leadership with big, bold ideas ... leaders from outside of Washington who are willing to take on Washington and put the power back in the hands of the states," and leaders "who've actually made the tough choices to put in place commonsense conservative reform."
    "And as I look at that, I realize, hey, there's a gap there that somebody needs to step up and fill," he added.
    Walker emerged as the unexpected star of this weekend's conservative gathering in Iowa after he gave a fiery speech that drew widespread praise from Republicans.
    While the Wisconsin governor has long been considered a potential presidential contender, critics have been skeptical of what they perceive as his bland campaigning style — a perception he shattered with the Sunday speech.
    The governor said during his radio interview that he was fine with being seen as dull, and that he felt he "broke through that" perception on Sunday.
    "The media is going to peg any prospective candidate with a tag," Walker said.
    "I'd rather have bland or uncharismatic than dumb or ignorant, or corrupt or any of the other things that they could label other would-be candidates out there, or old, for that matter," he said.
    On Tuesday, Walker moved closer to a bid with the launch of a nonprofit that will help him raise money and travel the country, and he said on Wednesday he plans to use the group to get out his message of states' rights and small government — one that he sees as the "foundation of what could be ... a successful message in a presidential election."
    Though he didn't name names, Walker did take further jabs at the potential GOP primary field in a later radio interview, which is shaping up to be the widest in recent history and includes a handful of governors, senators and also-rans. 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is moving towards a bid, along with another Bush — former Florida governor, Jeb — and many candidates who ran in 2012 and came up short.
    "[Voters] want new, fresh leadership, particularly if Republicans are going to take on a candidate from the past," Walker said. "I think increasingly people believe they need a candidate from the future, not a name from the past to take on a name from the past."