Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a possible 2016 presidential candidate, refused to say whether he believed in evolution during a speech in London on Wednesday.
“I’m going to have to punt on that one,” he said when asked by a moderator at Chatham House, a London-based think tank, according to reports.
“That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other,” Walker added.
The Democratic National Committee pounced on the comments in a statement, knocking the governor for "dodging" the question.
"Scott Walker traveled to a foreign policy think tank to refuse to discuss foreign policy, dodged a straightforward question on evolution, and failed to explain away the budget fiasco he left behind in Wisconsin," spokeswoman Holly Shulman said in a statement.
"For someone who went to London to build his street cred as a serious leader all Walker showed today was the same ducking and dodging Wisconsinites know all too well and that we’ve come to expect from the 2016 GOP field, whose policy positions are just too divisive to share. Would’ve been a lot simpler to just stay home.”
Walker later addressed the comments on Twitter and bashed the media for choosing to "politicize" the issue.
Both science & my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God. I believe faith & science are compatible, & go hand in hand.— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) February 11, 2015
It's unfortunate the media chose to politicize this issue during our trade mission to foster investment in WI.— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) February 11, 2015
Evolution of species is widely regarded as scientific consensus, but the belief that modern humans are the result of evolution remains a controversial view in the United States, and among members of both parites.
Sixty percent of Americans believe that humans have evolved over time, according to a Pew Research Poll from 2013. That same poll shows that only 43 percent of Republicans believe in evolution, compared to 67 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents.
Walker’s international jaunt is one of many taken by possible 2016 candidates, especially governors, who travel overseas in order to bolster their foreign policy credentials.
And the Wisconsin governor isn’t the first to grab unwanted headlines during these trips.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) helped spark a scuffle over vaccinations when he said that parents should have a measure of choice in deciding whether to vaccinate their children.
Christie’s office walked those remarks back soon after and said the governor supported vaccinations.