Entries in Recall Election (3)


Exclusive: Scott Walker Says Romney Still Underdog in Wisconsin

ABC News(MADISON, Wis.) -- Republicans scored a big victory in Wisconsin Tuesday, but Gov. Scott Walker says there is “no doubt” Mitt Romney is still the underdog in his state when it comes to the presidential election.

“I mean the president having grown up just across the way in Chicago gives him a certain advantage, at least geographically,” Walker said in interview with ABC News.  “But I still think we are a very competitive state.”

Walker also has some advice for Romney:  Lay out specific plans for how he would deal with the federal budget crisis and be honest with the tough choices that need to be made.

“What it boils down to is can Governor Romney talk about a clear strategy to get the country moving forward to take on the tough economic and fiscal crisis this country faces?” Walker said.  “If he can lay that plan out clearly, I think voters in Wisconsin will at least give him a shot.”

Even as he celebrates a big victory, Walker acknowledges that he would have handled his budget crisis differently if he had a chance to do it all over again.  For starters, he said, he would have explained to the public what he was going to do before doing it.

“My problem was I was so eager to fix it I didn’t talk about it. I just fixed it,” Walker said. “Most politicians talk about it but never fix it in the future. We have learned from this. We are going to both talk about, get people engaged, work on solutions together and then fix it.”

He says Romney should not make the same mistake.

“In Governor Romney’s case, I think the country is hungry,” he said. “You look at the responses to [Rep.] Paul Ryan’s [budget] plan; I think the country is hungry for leaders who are willing  to stand up and say it like it is and tell people what they are going to do and then mean it and … I think if the governor can really lay that out crystal clear to voters here in Wisconsin and across the country, I think he can be competitive.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gov. Scott Walker Defeats Recall Challenge in Wisconsin

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- Wisconsin voters rejected a year-long effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker and replace him with Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.  ABC News projected Walker would win the race and hang onto his job one hour after polls closed.

The recall started last year as a state fight over Walker's efforts to curb public unions in his state.  But with its fierce debate over how to resolve the country's budget woes and tens of millions in outside political money pouring into Wisconsin, the recall morphed into what many viewed as a preview of what to expect this fall when President Obama battles GOP nominee Mitt Romney for the Oval Office.

"Voters really do want the leaders who make the tough decisions," Walker told a gathering of supporters in Waukesha, clearly viewing his victory as a validation of his stance toward public employee unions.

But he sought to strike a conciliatory tone, inviting Democrats to work with him.  He halted supporters from booing Barrett and told them, "Tonight the election is over." 

Walker promised to invite Democrats and Republicans over for "brats" next week.

The victory is a boon to Walker and Republicans in this key battleground state that opted for Obama by nearly 15 percent four years ago.  It may also be interpreted as a validation of Walker's confrontational efforts to curb public employee unions.  Walker's lieutenant governor, Rebecca Leefisch, withstood a twin recall effort.

"Gov. Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C.  Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin," said Romney in a statement.

But voters in exit polls Tuesday said they favored Obama over Romney in November by an 11 point margin (53-42 percent).

"Wisconsin is a preview of what the November election is going to look like in many of these swing states," ABC News' political director Amy Walter said, "and that is millions and millions of dollars spent just to try to influence a dwindling percentage of swing voters and the two sides working very hard to make sure that their voters come and turn out."

While they said they preferred Obama, 52 percent of those who responded to exit polls approved of Walker's work on job creation, a key factor in the race Tuesday.

The Wisconsin recall election was only the third time in the nation's history that a sitting governor had faced a midterm recall, and that struck a sour note with voters.  Six in 10 said recalls are only appropriate for reasons of official misconduct.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Mum on Walker Recall Election

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- For a candidate who could get a boost if Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker manages to keep his job after Tuesday’s recall election, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has stayed mum on the election since he last visited the state more than two months ago.

Prior to a campaign swing in Wisconsin in late March and early April, Romney came out strongly on behalf of Walker, telling voters from the state during a tele-townhall that he thinks Walker is an “excellent governor.”

“I support the governor in his effort to rein in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years,” said Romney during the March call.

As Romney weaved in and out of small towns and cities across Wisconsin with Rep. Paul Ryan by his side, Romney mentioned Walker’s struggle to voters and even dropped by a phone bank making calls on the governor’s behalf.

At a town hall in Green Bay, Romney referred to Walker as a “real champion” and a “real fighter.”

By the time Romney reached Fitchburg, he gushed, “What an extraordinary man, what a guy!”

“I had the privilege of campaigning for Scott Walker and care very deeply about his election,” Romney said at the phone bank. “I anticipate that I will get to do that again and look forward to helping him.”

But Romney has not returned to Wisconsin since, and there are no specifics as to what he’s done to help Walker as he “anticipated” that day in April.

A spokesman for the Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what Romney has done to help Walker since then, or whether he has reached out to Walker today.

While President Obama has not personally stumped for Tom Barrett in Wisconsin, his army of grassroots campaign organizers has been deployed for the past few weeks to aggressively register and mobilize voters for Tuesday’s recall vote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio