Governor Scott Walker says he understands some find Native American school nicknames and mascots offensive and he says if it were up to him he'd find a way to change them.
But he also says he signed a bill to make it tougher to change race based nicknames into law out of a concern for freedom of speech.
He says his crackdown on protest singers at the state capitol earlier this year was not an attack on freedom of speech, it was done out of concern for safety in the building. And he says eventually his administration came to a compromise with the singers.
It was one of several topics addressed during a lengthy interview with NewsChannel 7's Jeff Thelen Thursday (12/19/13)
The governor also said the latest federal numbers showing Wisconsin fell from 32nd to 37th in the nation in job creation are from the second quarter. He says early economic indicators are the numbers will be better in the third quarter.
He also says Wisconsin is 4th in the nation in personal income rising and unemployment is down below 6.5%.///
On another issue, Citizen Action of Wisconsin says the governor's rejection of federal money for expansion of Medicaid means insurance rates here are up to 99% here higher than in neighboring Minnesota, which took the money.
But Walker says higher rates here are not because of that. He says it's because of market factors. He says his administration has asked for federal permission for people to buy insurance not offered on the federal health care exchange, which he believes will drive down costs.
As for running for president, the governor says even though his name is often mentioned as a potential candidate, he hasn't decided yet whether he'll run.
He says he believes Wisconsinites want a governor to serve a full term without upheaval like a recall.
But he'll let residents know if he'll run for president before the gubernatorial election next year.
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