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CBS's Norah O'Donnell Badgers Scott Walker on 2016 Election, Immigration

Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.

O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below]

NORAH O'DONNELL: Governor, your comments get a lot of attention – about needing someone from outside of Washington – but isn't that a bit simplistic? Isn't it really about policies and reform that you talk about?..you have said you support a pathway to citizenship. Do you think the next nominee for the Republican Party has to back a pathway for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country?

Rose led the interview with a biased question on the ObamaCare controversy: "What can the President do to make this a successful piece of legislation? He has said if 80 percent of people are signed up, that would be success." The anchor interrupted Walker mid-answer, after he targeted HealthCare.gov: "Well, what's the measure of success for this legislation?" When the Republican governor touted how Wisconsin didn't "have a coverage gap", despite not signing up for "the Medicare expansion...[and] didn't do a federal exchange", Rose again cut in with a follow-up question: "That's Wisconsin. Is there an alternative by the Republican Party and the Congress that would be appropriate?"

O'Donnell then upped the ante and challenged the politician's take on the next presidential election. She first asked her question where named Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ryan, and like her co-anchor, repeatedly interrupted their guest:

O'DONNELL: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. The Republican Party is looking to win in 2016, and – and to make reforms. You're a governor. But you have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul; your good friend, Congressman Paul Ryan?

WALKER: All great people – in fact, if there was a fan club for Paul Ryan, I would be the president of that. But I think-

O'DONNELL: You just don't want him to be president.

WALKER: ...Overall, people in America, I think, are frustrated with everyone in Washington – not just Republicans; not just Democrats – with the lack of getting things done...you even mentioned the numbers in the presidential elections – in 30 states in America, after last November's presidential election, there are now 30 states with Republican governors; almost as many states with Republican legislative majorities. Why?

O'DONNELL: But forgive me, you had an outsider in the last election. That didn't work.

WALKER: Well, but again, those are one of the – the key differences in the future. A proven, successful reformer in the states, I think, would go a long way – not just towards winning, but more importantly, towards governing.

It should be pointed out that the CBS journalist's "Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections" line is inherently slanted towards the Democrats. Of course, she glossed over the fact that the GOP has kept control of the House of Representatives for all but four of the years since the 1994 elections, as well as what Walker pointed out about the majority of states having Republican governors.

Toward the end of the segment, O'Donnell raised the immigration issue, and twice wouldn't let Governor Walker complete an answer before asking a follow-up question. She even got in one more shot at the politician as Rose tried to wrap up the segment:

O'DONNELL: Would you give them temporary visas on a pathway to citizenship?

WALKER: Well, I think you've got to fix the front door. Before you talk about who came in, you've got to fix the front door....right now, we don't enforce the law for legal immigration on the front end. You could fix all these other problems if we had a successful legal immigration system in the United States.

ROSE: Governor Scott-

O'DONNELL: We'll wait for specifics. (laughs)

ROSE: (laughs) Thank you.

The full transcript of the Scott Walker interview from Monday's CBS This Morning:

NORAH O'DONNELL: The health care struggle is giving ammunition to governors who say they know how to solve problems. One of them is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He gained national attention in 2011, passing a series of laws that angered unions, and that led to a recall vote which Walker survived.

CHARLIE ROSE: In his new book 'Unintimidated', Walker argues his fellow Republicans should look to a governor when selecting their next nominee.

Governor, pleased to have you here.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, (R), WISCONSIN: Good to be with you.

[CBS News Graphic: "Eye On Politics: Wisconsin Governor On GOP's 2016 Candidate"]

ROSE: We'll talk about politics in a moment, but first, health care – what can the President do to make this a successful piece of legislation? He has said if 80 percent of people are signed up, that would be success.

WALKER: Well, I think, clearly, they have to fix the website. That's first and foremost. Whether you've got a state exchange or a federal exchange, people just aren't getting in-

ROSE: Well, what's the measure of success for this legislation?

[CBS News Graphic: "Eye On Politics: Wisconsin Governor On GOP's 2016 Candidate"]

WALKER: Well, I think – I don't know that there's a percentage out there. I think people – in our state, for example, we have no coverage gap – even though we didn't take the Medicare expansion; we didn't do a federal exchange – we don't have a coverage gap. In fact, in many ways, we were already covered in Wisconsin, and they're not doing it-

ROSE: That's Wisconsin. Is there an alternative by the Republican Party and the Congress that would be appropriate?

WALKER: Oh, I think that's our ultimate goal. We can't relish the frustrations that people are having across America. The last thing Republicans want to do is look like we're the ones at the edge of the cliff pushing ObamaCare over the top. But we have to come back with a market-driven alternative out there. I think if-

ROSE: When?

WALKER: Well, I'd say fairly soon – this year – I think the sooner we can come out with something. In the states, we're doing that. That's exactly what I talk about in the book. Those are the sorts of things that there's a stark contrast between Republicans being optimistic and relevant in the states, versus the failure to do that in our federal government.

[CBS News Graphic: "Health Care Act: Approve, 40%; Disapprove, 55%; Source: Gallup Poll; Margin of Error: +/- 4% Pts."]

O'DONNELL: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. The Republican Party is looking to win in 2016, and – and to make reforms. You're a governor. But you have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul; your good friend, Congressman Paul Ryan?

WALKER: All great people – in fact, if there was a fan club for Paul Ryan, I would be the president of that. But I think-

O'DONNELL: You just don't want him to be president.

WALKER: Well, I just look at the overall – and again, this is one of the things I highlight in the book. Overall, people in America, I think, are frustrated with everyone in Washington – not just Republicans; not just Democrats – with the lack of getting things done. And in the book, I contrast the fact that in the states, where the optimism is – and you even mentioned the numbers in the presidential elections – in 30 states in America, after last November's presidential election, there are now 30 states with Republican governors; almost as many states with Republican legislative majorities. Why?

O'DONNELL: But forgive me, you had an outsider in the last election. That didn't work.

WALKER: Well, but again, those are one of the – the key differences in the future. A proven, successful reformer in the states, I think, would go a long way – not just towards winning, but more importantly, towards governing.

O'DONNELL: It just so happens you spent last night with Chris Christie. (laughs) I think we saw-

WALKER: I did – unfortunately, on the losing end of a football game.

O'DONNELL: Yeah. We saw the pictures of you and Governor Christie at the Giants-Packers game.

WALKER: If I – instead of wearing Aaron Rodgers' jersey, it would have been nice if Aaron Rodgers was there.                    

ROSE: So – so after that, you're prepared to say Governor Christie is just the kind of man the Republicans need? He's a governor; he can appeal across the board; he's the guy.

WALKER: I think any of the 30 Republican governors would be a marked improvement over this president.

ROSE: But some of the people, who look at you and what you said, say he has defined it, and he had one governor in mind; and that happened to be the governor of Wisconsin.

WALKER: Oh, no. I mean, I think, in the end, if you look at the difference out there, people see governors as being more optimistic; more relevant; more courageous. And, in fact, in all those states you just talked about in the presidential election – Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia – all those states are states that are battleground states. And yet, Republicans are governors in those states.

O'DONNELL: Governor, your comments get a lot of attention – about needing someone from outside of Washington – but isn't that a bit simplistic? Isn't it really about policies and reform that you talk about; that a lot of governors talk about – that they do in their states? Why not on – for instance, on immigration reform, you have said you support a pathway to citizenship. Do you think the next nominee for the Republican Party has to back a pathway for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country?

[CBS News Graphic: "Eye On Politics: Wisconsin Governor On Immigration Policy"]

WALKER: Ah, but see, there's the difference. I talk about a legal pathway towards – not amnesty; not the legislation they're talking about in Washington.

O'DONNELL: What is a legal pathway?

WALKER: Well, to me, the – what we talk about with the debate in Washington is just addressing the symptom, not the overall problem. That's the difference between, again, what I see in the states and see in the federal government. The bigger problem is we don't have a legal immigration system. You know, my-

[CBS News Graphic: "Immigration In America: Path To Citizenship? Favor: Republicans, 69%; Democrats, 87%; Oppose: Republicans, 28%; Democrats, 11%; Source: CBS News Poll: Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]

O'DONNELL: Would you give them temporary visas on a pathway to citizenship?

WALKER: Well, I think you've got to fix the front door. Before you talk about who came in, you've got to fix the front door. My ancestors came from Germany and Ireland. My wife's family came from Sicily. My in-laws – my brother's in-laws, I should say, came from Mexico. And in every one of those cases, they came here as immigrants. But we also are a country not only of immigrants, but of laws. And right now, we don't enforce the law for legal immigration on the front end. You could fix all these other problems if we had a successful legal immigration system in – in the United States.

ROSE: Governor Scott-

O'DONNELL: We'll wait for specifics. (laughs)

ROSE: (laughs) Thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.