Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Wednesday blamed media “hype and hysteria” for the backlash against Indiana’s controversial religious liberty law.

Speaking with conservative radio host Charlie Sykes on the “Insight 2015” show, Walker, a potential 2016 presidential contender, was asked if he would sign a similar bill into law.

“We don’t need to,” Walker said, noting that Wisconsin already had such legislation. “In Wisconsin, we have it in our constitution. That’s the remarkable thing.


"For all of the hype, particularly in media, here in Wisconsin we have it in the constitution. It’s even more entrenched than anything that can be in the state statutes and we don’t have the kind of hype and hysteria that the national media is creating on this.”

Walker, who is at or near the top of many polls for the Republican presidential nomination, mentioned what has become a consistent conservative refrain in the debate – that President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue No, civility isn't optional MORE signed a similar bill into law in 1993, and that as a state senator in Illinois, President Obama also supported similar legislation.

“I just think this is people who are chronically looking for ways to be upset about things instead of really looking at what it is,” Walker said. “I believe in protecting religious freedoms. It’s inherent in our state’s constitution. Heck, it’s inherent in our U.S. Constitution, and again, in Wisconsin, we’ve done it, and we’re stronger for it.”

Critics of the law say it provides cover for those who might discriminate against gay people. But Walker argued that the Wisconsin law strikes “a healthy balance” to both protect gays from discrimination, and to allow for the free practice of faith.

“If you look at the constitution, there is both a combination of religious freedoms protecting the constitution, and back in the ’80s, long, long ago when I was still a kid, there were also provisions there that would protect against discrimination, including a gay or lesbian individual out there,” he said. 

“So there is a healthy balance of someone can’t be discriminated, say, in the workplace, and for someone who has a conscientious objection, based on their religious beliefs no matter what it might be,” he continued. “The constitution is pretty clear in the state.”

Wednesday’s interview was the most Walker has said on the issue since controversy surrounding the Indiana law exploded earlier this week. 

Most of the GOP presidential contenders came out early to show support for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, also a potential 2016 candidate, who signed the bill into law last week.

Earlier this week, the Walker campaign released a vague statement saying only that he “believes in broad religious freedom and the right for Americans to exercise their religion and act on their conscience.”

On Thursday, Republican legislators in Indiana agreed to a deal to add protections against discrimination to the LGBT community under the law.