Romney reacts to Wisconsin recall vote
June 5th, 2012
11:22 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney reacts to Wisconsin recall vote

(CNN) - Mitt Romney praised Gov. Scott Walker's win in Wisconsin's recall election, describing Tuesday night's results as a victory for the GOP nationwide.

"Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses," Romney said in a statement.

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The presumptive GOP presidential nominee also called Walker to personally offer his congratulations over the phone Tuesday night, according to a Romney campaign official.

Walker beat back a recall challenge after he signed into law a controversial bill last year to curb collective bargaining rights for most public employees, resulting in mass protests and political backlash.

In Romney's statement, he said the election marked a turning point in the ideological war over spending.

"Tonight voters said 'no' to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and 'yes' to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans," he said.

The election was also underlined with political implications for the presidential race, as the highly-charged fight raised questions over whether Wisconsin would remain a traditionally blue state this November.

While other high profile Democrats traveled to Wisconsin to campaign on Barrett's behalf, President Barack Obama largely stayed out of the recall contest, most visibly affirming his support in a Monday evening tweet.

Obama's campaign, however, released a statement late Tuesday night, calling the results disappointing but applauding the Democratic-led effort to challenge the governor.

"While tonight's outcome was not what we had hoped for – no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money spent on behalf of Scott Walker," said the campaign's Wisconsin director, Tripp Wellde.

Wellde pointed to polling data that showed the president faring better than Romney among Wisconsin voters when asked about the general election on Tuesday. According to CNN exit polls, Obama would have carried the state with 54% to GOP candidate Mitt Romney's 42%.

"These data points clearly demonstrate a very steep pathway for Mitt Romney to recover in the state," he said.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Also see:

Barrett says Obama visit would have been distraction

Veep contenders in the spotlight this week

Biden to grads: Don't get cynical

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Namethomas

    When unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. Ronald Reagen. Freddom park NYC 1980. So was he lying? He is a gop hero.

    June 6, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  2. terry brennan

    this election proves one thing. That obesity is not the number one non-disease health problem in the country. It is mental health. Stupidity has severely overtaken obesity as the number one health problem in the country. Should Romney win in November it would verify that the Crazies have not only taken over the GOP but the electorate as well. Maybe we really have become a stupid country. I'd say that these facts would make me mad but the truth is that it makes me sad. Only Obama's re-election would bring back any hope that we can convince ourselves that we are not crazy or stupid. If you believe in God, lets pray that does happen because good can't triumph without some outside help. We are so low in education compared to so many other countries. Lets not sink lower.

    June 6, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  3. Don'tForgetWhatHeSaid

    Romney applauds voters for choosing 'fiscal responsibility' on the same day he recommends the U.S. Gov't should sell its stake in GM at a huge loss. Classic.

    June 6, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  4. mk1

    Yeah citizens can fight back, right. It is just slightly hard to fight being outspent 7 to 1 and when over 2/3 of your money comes from out of state. Talk about an election being bought, this is it in spades. I guess the people of Wisconsin deserve what they have chosen. Watch Walker double down now his policies. Truly frightening.

    June 6, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  5. Investment Advisor

    So much for the reliablity of the Wisconsin exit polls....They showed a very close race for Walker/Barrett. Close??? I think Wisconsin is in "play". Where the hell are all the Lib bloggers? Not much to talk about....YeeHaw!

    June 6, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  6. luke,az

    The 1% bought this election, and will try to do the same in Nov. Gov Robme is the perfect candidate for the Republican party.

    June 6, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  7. TomInVa

    This outcome is not about people liking Republicans or disliking Obama. It is far more fundamental. This is about sober, mature, and right-minded citizens observing the results of libro-socialism in Greece, Spain, and all of Europe and awakenng to the fact that Government can not keep buying off all the special interest groups and remain solvent. Europe has outsourced their military responsibilities to the United States for 60 years until there is nothing left, and now they are proving incapable of making the hard choices with the resources they have left. Sensible people in the US realize that is not a road we wish to travel, and fortunately they are still in the majority.

    June 6, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  8. Jackson124

    "President Barack Obama largely stayed out of the recall contest, most visibly affirming his support in a Monday evening tweet." Lord help us, this celeb president even tweets.

    June 6, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  9. Marry

    Why do people do this? Why do they liked to be lied too, be ripped off, see their State go down, have unethical people govern, not take the chance to right what has proven to hurt them?? Unbelievable!!

    June 6, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  10. ddt

    The problem, you won't even win your own home state not even Michigan.........keep dreaming

    June 6, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. Thomas

    What a waste of money !

    I'm now convinced , America will not ever change until things become very very bad.

    And those such as Romney will never same the burden , nor take any responsibility.

    Romney / Bush all over again, and again.2012

    June 6, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. jnuey

    good.. would be nice to see. Obama said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of the first term.. Instead he doubled it and put our kids at risk. Walker said he would balance the budget and did it. Illinois and California should pay attention to liberal state governments and what it does to the states finances. NY IL and Cali are budget messes and will eventually destroy their state economies even more. Business will leave because they will continue to raise taxes.

    June 6, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. Robert

    Forget those exit polls showing Obama support. People stopping to answer questions were mostly recall voters.

    June 6, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  14. I still dont like or trust Romney.

    I knew this was coming. Barrett was badly outspent by Walker. The polls in Wisconsin showed Walker ahead by an average of 5 percentage points on Monday. But this doesnt make Wisconsin a toss up state in the general election, not really.

    June 6, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  15. Latina from California

    If we could only do the same here in California. We need a "Scott Walker". Thank you Scott Walker for yor courage.

    June 6, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  16. charles hilliard

    Tonight's vote is in WI makes no sense to the average American. What is sad is that the same people who voted for governor walker will be the same ones feeling the effects. If the American people believe This is the right course of action I am afraid of our future. We cannot let tea party influence decisions or voters. One day the people will wake up and realize the mistakes they made and have no choice but to accept them. Smh

    June 6, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  17. Mike H.

    And after tonight's election in Wisconsin our nation takes another step toward the edge of the cliff. God help us if Mitt Romney takes up residence in the White House come January....

    June 6, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  18. Lisa Lehman

    As a conservative Democrat or liberal Republican (query: can anybody really define the difference?) and an attorney to boot, I would like to comment that Walker's "win" was not exactly stellar. Eight percentage points is not a landslide. While I don’t currently live there, I was born and raised in Wisconsin. You have the conservatives in Milwaukee and rural "Dairyland"; and you have the liberals in Madison – my alma mater. I believe there is an inherent problem with a two party political system. Certainly, Western Europe has experienced tribulations in forming coalition governments; yet at least their citizens have a choice other than voting strictly “A” or “B”. I have lived in several of these countries and follow their political landscapes. Politics are not black and white, my compatriots – they are gray!

    June 6, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  19. Paul

    Are the rest of US ready for the overlords and king that Pres. Jefferson thought would emerge from an imperfect government?
    I,m not ready for those too important people too hang on dearly. Term limits will impact them vote for 6 years for govs and pres; do what u can and go away. Sen. Hatch go away and take the Bishop with you.

    June 6, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  20. dina

    Money, money, money makes the world go round. It is a sad day that people don't see what is happening in this country.They will wake up one day and find that they are no longer middle class but in the land of the poor and all because of Republican policies. Sad, sad day.

    June 6, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  21. Pander Bear

    "Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin."

    Not for you they won't, Mitty.

    June 6, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  22. William Higgins

    Don't be so smug, You still have to take down Obama. Good luck on that..........You'll need it...........

    June 6, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  23. David

    Congrats to Scott's a victory for the whole country.

    June 6, 2012 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  24. res65

    yeah cnn, you poll showed scott walker in a neck and neck race also.
    53 to 46 is not neck and neck

    June 6, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  25. Dave À

    Crooks congratullating crooks.

    June 6, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
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