2012ers rally behind Wisconsin governor
February 24th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
4 years ago

2012ers rally behind Wisconsin governor

(CNN) - Potential Republican presidential candidates are throwing their support behind Wisconsin's governor, angling to use the union standoff in that state to demonstrate their own conservative credentials.

On Thursday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's political action committee sent a $5,000 donation to Wisconsin Republicans, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty released a web video praising Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's "tough choices."

Romney, in a statement, said, "Liberal big government interests are fighting efforts to rein in out-of-control public employee pay and benefits in Wisconsin." The group's donation is the maximum amount that a political action committee is permitted to donate to a political party.

Pawlenty's political committee launched a website praising Scott, http://www.standingwithscott.com. The site features a video that splices together news clips of the protests, along with commentary criticizing the role that Organizing for America–President Barack Obama's campaign arm–played in the Wisconsin protests.

In a statement on his website, Pawlenty backs the governor:

"Governor Scott Walker is making tough choices needed to avoid financial ruin," he said. "The nation's governors don't need a lecture from a president who has never balanced a budget. All levels of government need to bring public employee compensation in line with the private sector."

Other potential 2012 candidates are also weighing in.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour tweeted Thursday that Walker "is showing the leadership it takes to turn our country around. He's standing with taxpayers & keeping his word."

Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum compared pro-union protestors in Wisconsin to drug addicts.

"They are acting like their drug is being taken away from them," Santorum told gathering of Republicans Tuesday night in South Carolina, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

In a video posted to his YouTube page, businessman Donald Trump tried to appeal to both union workers and those supporting the governor.

"I've had great relationships with the unions over the years," he said. "But at the same time I fully understand the governor of Wisconsin, what he's trying to do. He's trying to fix a very, very serious problem."

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in a post on her Facebook page, appealed to union workers to stand up to union bosses.

"Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don't be taken in by the union bosses," she wrote. "At the end of the day, they're not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's education budget. They're fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout."


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Haley Barbour • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty • Wisconsin
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. lindi

    This gop guy publically excepted a bribe? He reminds me of Blago,except this wis.guy is alot more dangerous!!!! This whole thing is like "reading the legend of Robin Hood" upside-down? The rich gop gov. robs the poor,and working slug, and gives it back to the "Rich" He is hopefully headed for Impeachment! Lets Hope!!!!

    February 24, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. greg the progressive in jacksonville

    What a shocker there.. but we already knew that Republicans hate the middle-class and love the Koch Brothers.

    February 24, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Chispter

    Why do working class people vote for Republicans? Supply-side economics has failed. It never "trickles down." Republicans manipulate voters with social issues like abortion that they have no intention of banning and get working class voters to vote against their own best interests. They know a ban it won't survive constitutional scrutiny and they aren't about to give up their golden goose anyhow. For 6 out of 8 years, they had majorities in all branches of government. They made absolutely no attempt to ban abortion because that's their winning ticket with radical Christians. These are people who oppose Bin Ladin's efforts to force his religion on others. Irony just flies over their heads and they pull that GOP lever like their told to do.

    February 24, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. annie s

    Republicans hate the middle class. Period.

    February 24, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. BeverlyNC

    Oh you arrogant Republicans – please do support the corrupt WI Governor Walker. The nation is with the workers. The Democrats are with the workers. Walker is just a Republican tool being used to kill unions and take away worker rights and it is backfiring BIG TIME on the Republicans. The latest Gallup Poll shows nearly 70% of Americans support the workers in Wisconsin AND support the right to have unions all over the nation.
    Just another Republican example of hating the PEOPLE and being anti-American. You have been working to destroy the middle class for a long time and this proves it. You have no plans for jobs. You have no vision or plans to move Ameica forward or to restore our economy. Republicans are just destroyers, hate mongers, liars, racists, and want America to fail thinking it is their only chance to have something to campaign against Obama with. President Obama is doing a GREAT job, is creating jobs, restoring the economy (stock market is higher than it has EVER been), and restoring our status around the world. He has opened up trade agreements for American product overseas. He saved GM and all those jobs and GM is now so successful they are paying back their govt loan. President Obama has great ideas for moving America forward but the Republicans say NO oto EVERYTHING,
    Keep fighting for your rights workers in WI. You have the nation behind you and you are wnning the fight. Governor Walker is now being investigated for a list of ethic and legal violations in this union-killing game. The non-partisan govt ethics board is gathering data on this whole mess and likely iit will be Walker who loses his job! He should and the Republicans should be exposed for being anti-worker and anti-PEOPLE and clueless and solutionless on JOBS.

    February 24, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ["Governor Scott Walker is making tough choices needed to avoid financial ruin"]
    The unions already agreed to the $$$ hike – what he’s asking for is beyond being MEAN!!
    ["The nation's governors don't need a lecture from a president who has never balanced a budget.”]
    If the governors were so successful in “balancing a BUDGET” – why are they in trouble NOW!!???
    [“All levels of government need to bring public employee compensation in line with the private sector."]
    And all government agencies need to PAY their employees what the “private sector” worker is making doing the SAME JOB!!!!!
    Barbour tweets [“he’s standing with taxpayers & keeping his word.”]
    Everyone pays taxes Barbour – even the protesters – so what are you talking about?
    And Palin – please shut up – you ruined the entire comment section with your rattling!!

    All of the 2012ers on the RIGHT – who will fail in 2012 of getting elected – have a lot of MOUTH and of course they will stick to the SAME talking points. SkyWalker is WRONG for trying to go BEYOND balancing the budget!!!! You can tell in his PUNK’d conversation what type of man he is and what his goals are………. He will NOT succeed!!!

    February 24, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. D. Bunker

    Great! Now that we know Walker hates the poor and middle class, especially those who favor unions, we can tell by who donate to, or otherwise support, him which of the Greedy Old Pigs hates the poor and middle class. By my count:

    This little Mitten Piggy hates the poor and middle class
    This little Pawlenty Piggy hates the poor and middle class.
    This not-so-little Barbour Piggy hates the poor and middle class.
    This frothy Santorum Piggy hates the poor and middle class.
    This crazy Ms. Palin Piggy hates the poor and middle class.

    February 24, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Weeper of the House: Two and the Door

    Excellent. Now we have them on record; and it's that very record that will lead to the R ticket moving towards extinction. They have inadvertently ticked off so many people, young and old, and these people will be taking our country forward once again in 2012. Labor movement has begun, thanks to Hosni Walker.

    February 24, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. rachel

    Gag me. Scott Walker is trying to destroy unions in Wisconsin. He wants to be able to sell our utlities with a no bid contract, and he give big tax breaks to buisnesses while asking people making about 50,000 to give more.

    February 24, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    LOL any governor that just got "PUNKED" on a fake phone call like Walker just did needs to hide behind his desk. The so-called 2012ers, the ones that claim they want to do the will of the American people need to look at the polls that claim the American people as a whole do NOT back what this joker is trying to do. The 2012ers, like the rest of the right wingers only want to do the will of the American people if the will is what they themselves want as well.

    February 24, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Half term Quitter hides behind Facebook and Twitter

    The Delusional Wasilla Grifter said:
    "Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don't be taken in by the union bosses," she wrote. "At the end of the day, they're (I'm) not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's (America's) education budget. They're (I'm) fighting to protect their (my) own powerful privileges and their (my fleeting) own political clout."

    In a surreal moment of transparency, the 1/2 term quitter who hated her job as Gov of the biggest welfare state seems to be providing an introspection instead of talking about "union bosses". A pure 10 out of 10 on the unintentional comedy scale. Who knew Palin was such a comedian?

    February 24, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Inmyopinion

    Government employees are very smart, they pay taxes like everyone else but that tax they pay is part of the tax dollars we all pay that is used in paying them their salaries plus their pensions plus their benefits. So in reality they never pay taxes.

    Let Wisconsin government employees get laid off because there is no money to pay for their high wages, pensions, benefits and let them go back to work in the private sector where workers have to pay for pensions, benefits.

    Government employees make more money than workers in the private sector, they are too expensive for our tax dollars to keep them around. Some of them will have to go ( except police officers and fire fighters of course).

    February 24, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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