Orlando, Florida (CNN)Scott Walker wants people to know that he has been everywhere, man. Well, at least in Florida.
Scott Walker in Florida: 'We could compete anywhere'
The Wisconsin governor, who's been laying the groundwork for a likely presidential bid, highlighted his ties Tuesday to the swing state that also votes relatively early in the GOP nominating contest. He mentioned that he often visited his grandparents in Fort Myers as a kid and has an aunt on his wife's side who lives in Bonita Springs.
"I've been from one part of the state to the other. There's obviously a lot of folks from the Midwest particularly in the Naples-Bonita Springs-Fort Myers area," he said. "But I've been everywhere from Miami in the south to Jacksonville to places all across the state. Again, if I choose to be a candidate, ultimately we'll spend a lot of time in Florida."
He argued that he wouldn't leave the Florida GOP primary out of his calculation, after suggesting last week that he might cede the state to let Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio battle it out.
"If I were to run, we could compete anywhere in the country and we'd compete to try and win anywhere in the country," Walker told reporters in Orlando Tuesday after speaking at the Economic Growth Summit, hosted by Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
Walker told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham last week that he thinks his message would play in every state, "other than, maybe, Florida, where Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are ... in some of the polls, essentially tied."
But Walker, who said he'll announce his 2016 decision in the coming "month or so," said Tuesday he was giving pause "in deference to favorite sons here in Florida," adding that Bush and Rubio "certainly would have a competitive advantage over anybody" because they had both won statewide elections here.
"If I didn't think I could compete, I wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't have made four trips to Florida (this year) and many trips in the past," he said.