Gov. Walker knocks Obama for shying away from Wisconsin recall

GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Monday that President Obama’s decision to shy away from campaigning on behalf of Democratic challenger Tom Barrett before Tuesday’s election in the state shows “there is a real concern” on the left that the effort to recall the incumbent governor would fail.

“It is interesting. For all the hype, it’s kind of confusing for all the voters here. It’s a sign there is a real concern,” Walker told Fox Business Network. “What I have seen is voters who tell me they voted for my opponent or they are Democrats, but in each case they are telling me they are voting for me.” 

{mosads}Union groups and local Democrats have expressed disappointment with Obama’s failure to campaign in the state on behalf of Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor. Last Wednesday, Obama’s campaign team, however, argued the president’s presence would do little to tip the scales in the close recall fight.

“If you think that the secret weapon here is sending President Obama, then, you know, I’m pleased that you believe that. But I think that actually having people organizing and volunteering and turning out the vote and doing everything they can that actually affect an election is actually more powerful,” Cutter said.

Walker went on to attribute the recall effort to “misguided anger” and say that Democratic supporters had backed away from supporting Barrett.

“There is a real concern out there. For all the hype a year ago, you would have thought there is no way they can win. I knew once we hit September 1st, people in our state would see our schools were better, in December when property tax bills came out and they saw in many cases their bill went down, I knew it didn’t matter how many attack ads you could run, things like that people could see with their own eyes would trump all the attacks in the world,” Walker said. “I think why you have seen the national Democrats backing away is because as people have seen the facts they realize there was a lot of misguided anger.”

Even without Obama, though, Barrett has scored some high-profile Democratic support, including from a rally last week hosted by former President Clinton.

The effort to recall Walker came after the governor controversially moved to restrict public workers’ collective bargaining rights, prompting mass protests across Wisconsin. Many are looking to the June 5 election as a proxy battle for Republican austerity efforts, and as a measure of union influence in 2012. Labor has poured substantial resources into defeating Walker, while conservative political action committees have also proven aggressive in the state.

But on Monday, Walker disputed the notion he had come into office to “destroy” unions, arguing he simply objected to public-sector collective bargaining.

“I have had great partners with private-sector unions. My problem with public-sector union leaders has been they stood in the way of protecting the taxpayer,” Walker said.

Walker also dipped his toe into national politics, offering his suggestion for who Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should name as his running mate while downplaying suggestions he might be under consideration.

“On the VP side, if Mitt Romney were to ask me who would be a good pick from Wisconsin I would say my friend Paul Ryan would be at the top of the list. He would do an exceptional job,” Walker said. “I am not going through a year and a half of this to then take off. I have to fulfill my commitment to the voters of the state of Wisconsin.”

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