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Walker slips when referring to federal politics

Published On: Aug 03 2013 12:17:50 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 03 2013 03:04:17 PM CDT

Gov. Scott Walker quickly caught himself with a laugh when telling reporters he was not "yet" involved with politics at the federal level.

Walker made the slip when answering questions from reporters about the federal health care overhaul law Friday following a news conference at the National Governors Association meeting.

Walker said, "Right now I've got my hands full being governor. I'm not real involved yet at the — strike that last word — at the federal level."

Walker is frequently mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Other potential candidates, including Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, are also at the three-day meeting.

The comment was made after a day of meetings on topics ranging from gun control and cyber security to health care, reporters who gathered Friday night were expecting Walker to make a speech to his fellow governors.

That wasn't the case.

Instead Walker, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and five other current governors completed their Harley-Davidson motorcycle ride through the streets of Milwaukee.

About 100 combat veterans, including Medal of Honor winner Gary Wetzel, joined with the governors as part of an event Friday night during the National Governors Association meeting.

Joining Walker and Thompson were Govs. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota and Gary Herbert of Utah.

Walker is an avid biker and owns a 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King. He wore a Harley jacket and blue jeans. The other governors were similarly dressed. Hickenlooper had on a leather jacket and khaki pants.

They ended the ride at the Harley-Davidson Museum as the song "Born to Be Wild" blasted over the outdoor speakers.

The ride caps off the first day of meetings Friday of the National Governors Association and was held in conjunction with the 110th anniversary celebration of Harley, which is based in Milwaukee.

Earlier in the day, Walker pledged to make the annual meeting about bipartisanship and sharing ideas, instead of politics. He declined to criticize his fellow governors on issues like health care or gun control. He and Colorado's Gov. Hickenlooper both dealt with mass shootings last summer.

"The events were completely different. Let's keep the lines of communication open," Hickenlooper said.

Outside the event, a group of protestors gathered and asked that the governors listen to them.

"We shall not. We shall not be fooled," they chanted.

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