Scott Walker fires back after Bernie Sanders urges supporters to protest his appearance

Scott Walker fires back after Bernie Sanders urges supporters to protest his appearance
© Greg Nash

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) fired back at Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Cardi B posts message of support for Ilhan Omar #IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'send her back' MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday after the Democratic presidential hopeful called on supporters to protest outside a GOP fundraiser Walker was set to attend in Burlington, Vt.

Walker took to Twitter to bash Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, over his policy proposals while defending his own two terms leading the Badger State. Walker, who lost his reelection bid last year, touted his efforts as governor on unemployment, education and health care.

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.@BernieSanders Under Democrat control of the state, WI had a waiting list for healthcare coverage under Medicaid. I eliminated the waiting list and everyone living in poverty is now covered. WI is a Top 10 state for healthcare coverage,” Walker tweeted.

“Venezuela is a real time [example] of the failure of socialism. They promise prosperity but too often deliver poverty. It puts power in the hands of the few instead of the many,” he added.

Sanders has drawn significant GOP criticism over his policies, which many slam as socialist and say could lead to a humanitarian crisis like the one unfolding in Venezuela. He has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents for a slew of progressive policies, including “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal. 

The Independent Vermont senator, who served as mayor of Burlington in the 1980s, first went after Walker on Wednesday in an email to supporters, calling for them to voice opposition at the fundraiser in the city on Thursday.

“Scott Walker made his name busting unions, cutting health care, and gutting funding for public education,” Sanders said in a statement. “Scott Walker’s brand of divide-and-conquer politics has no place in Burlington — the city that sparked our political revolution by electing Bernie Sanders as mayor in 1981.”

The pushback underscores how Walker remains a polarizing figure on the left, even after leaving office. Walker ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 and repeatedly butted heads with labor groups during his time as governor.

The Wisconsin Republican drew the ire of similar groups in Vermont earlier this month when the state's governor, Phil Scott (R), agreed to attend the Vermont Republican Party fundraiser featuring Walker.

“To labor unions, woman’s groups, racial justice organizations, and pro-union progressives of all stripes, Scott Walker represents the worst of the worst in terms of the wrong direction the extremist-anti-union-right would like to take our country if given the change,” several labor unions and activist groups said in a statement earlier this month to the website VTDigger.