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. BeverlyNC

    Walker still may not be Governor for long since he is now under Federal investigation for corruption and fraud. What we learned is our democracy tonight is our entire democracy at great risk. Citizens United has subverted fair and people-driven elections. Corporations are creating a dictatorship bought with money, lies, and unethical and illegal tactics – like Republicans getting caught as the source of robocalls telling voters that if they signed the recall petition they did not have to go vote. This should awaken the People to the evils of Citizens United, the need for its repeal, and the absolute requirement to vote out every single Republican in local, state, and national seats to bring power back to the People and put real leaders in office to actually pass- not obstruct legislation for jobs, infrastructure, and economic growth. Republicans have betrayed We the People and we need honest leaders who will work with President Obama to restore America for ALL Americans. Get out and vote for truth, integrity, character, found only right now in President Obama and the Democratic Party. Do not let money buy elections and bring down our democracy.

    June 6, 2012 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  2. s

    Look who is talking about spending, isn't he the cash cow

    June 6, 2012 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  3. Cliff

    Romney is wrong. CNN Analysts are overhyping this. I've not seen one decent truly political based Analysis of this Recall outcome yet. So as my life has been Politics I'll make my own.

    1: The Recall did see the Dems take control of the state Senate. While is more or less a trophy pickup that Dems can only use to polish and say they can control Walker, truth is the Senate is adjourned. So basically it's only a short term pickup. Still it gives them leverage to pickup the Senate in Nov which would be huge. Walker's agenda would have to become bipartisan and that would be a big blow to the right wing Gov who's used to steamrolling his agenda through.

    2: What does it mean for the Presidency? Nothing. Why? Because if people like the CNN group actually studied Politics or understood it, they'd understand Wisconsin is a very prideful state. The results of this to me represent Wisc residents backing a Gov they went to the polls for last Nov. It was a vote in support for a Gov who won a legit race. A Gov they felt deserved as a result, a full Term. He is their Gov, good or bad. And frankly the results to me bare this out. 17% of the union voted for Walker. This to me not only represents a split in support for the Union heads vs the New Union members but also it represents, people supporting their legitimately elected Gov. Will these same 17% be voting Rep come Nov? No, of course not. As again bared out by the polls who showed a 6 to 11 point margin still for Obama, a margin that has increased for the past thirty days. This was a local result, period. It will not be a refferendum on Obama and his policies.

    That said, it does show that the energy and money IS in FACT, with the Republican party here. So dems if they want to keep their Nov chances high, had better be prepared to be as active and free with thier money here as their Rep counterparts.

    June 6, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  4. Jay

    Slave wages coming to Wisconsin soon!

    June 6, 2012 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  5. Tony

    Democrats were not enthusiastic about Tom Barrett because he stood up to the teacher union in Milwaukee. He was not the first choice of the unions. According to the exit polls in Tuesday's recall election, Obama would beat Romney by 7 point if the presidential election were held yesterday. Now, should Romney crow about the result of the recall election?

    June 6, 2012 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  6. James Klimaski

    Yes, it is clear, with enormous amounts of money you can own the airwaves and buy an election. and we will assemble the amount that it will take to buy all the necessary elections this Fall thanks to the Supreme Court and Citizens United. And with those wins, they will continue picking the pockets of the middle class so they can have the money to do it again and again.

    June 6, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  7. BeverlyNC

    I am sure Romney thinks this win for Walker is good for him. He and Walker are just alike. They are corporate puppets who survive only because of billionaire money. They both are destroyers of jobs, destroyers of education, debt increasers, liars, extremists, bigots, and have no character, principles, integrity or represent ALL the People. Exit polls however show a large preference for President Obama and that the People believe President Obama can best restore the economy. Women, workers, and ethnic groups were strong supporters of President Obama as well. No one can understand why WI would vote for a corrupt, lying, destroyer Governor who is under Federal investigation for illegal activites and whose aides have already been indicted. I suppose money can buy a lot of lies to fool voters on the facts. It's why voters need to realize Republicans are owned by corporations, do not work or care about the People at all, and will tell any lie, cheat, suppress voting, and take away the rights of women, workers, veterans, elderly and the poor to grab power and destroy America again. If the People want our democracy back and extremism reversed, they need to support President Obama who is only dedicated to ALL Americans, has fought for economic recovery despite constant Republican obstruction of all legislation for jobs, infrastructure and economic projects, and destruction of civil rights won back in the 1960s. Wake up, pay attention to the issues, know the facts, and vote for the true leaders who have been fighting for YOU – vote all Democrats come November and watch your country return to sanity and one you recognize.

    June 6, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  8. Neurotoxin

    Spindoctor Romney, you fail. What this recall demonstrated is that we live an age where your own unruly base is a bigger threat to you than your opponent and swing voters. Barrett is a notoriously slimey politician, and Dems with a distaste for Walker lost interest in this election once Barrett won the Primary, and didn't turn out to vote. In the case of the Presidency, YOU are the notoriously slimey politician that conservatives with a distaste for incumbent Obama are already losing interest in. You don't stand a chance, simple as that.

    June 6, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  9. chrisnot

    Big $ buys elections, no question. Then, the well thought and inspirational comment by Walker.., "It's time to move Wisconsin forward". And, just one other minor lingering question, why didn't this disturbing union bargining rights decision apply to ALL civil servents? It did seem very selective. Inquiring minds would like to know.

    June 6, 2012 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  10. Terrence Wayne

    Now that the terribly divisive recall election in Wisconsin is over, wouldn't it be ironic if Mitt Romney asks Scott Walker to be his running mate and Walker says "Yes" to him? Only in America...

    June 6, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  11. Mollybee

    You can't fight big Wall Street money....especially since the Supreme Court made corporations "people, too". How sad to see another blow to the middle class of America in Wisconsin. Moral: "divide and conquer" + "corporate money" is a lethal combination.

    June 6, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    If you wanna make a big deal of Obama not going to Wisconsin neither did Romney!
    Saying this reflects well on national voting is a nice wish but ignores exit polls re the presidential vote in November heavily in favor of Obama. This state will be blue again in November.
    That said Romney ignores the cost cuts and spending reductions in Obama's budget and the upcoming further 1trillion of budget act cuts, but then again Romney et all want to blow all that away on increased national defense spending and or cuts in Homeland security, the agency Bush set up in response to 9/11.
    He etches a sketch to fit any specific days events and waffles how Dems got it all wrong without any real or specific concrete plans to create jobs... his approval of the ryan budget draconian cuts ( = severe austerity) most economists say guarantees a double dip recession in the USA.

    June 6, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Sorry bully bishop but what happene din Wisconsin pales in comparison of the exit poll votes you and the President will get in WI. You will still lose.

    June 6, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  14. beanne

    Your exit polls were sure off about ya think they may be off about Obama too?

    June 6, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  15. ironman59

    The only thing this showed is that with enough money, you can buy an election and put a politician in yoru pocket. With overall spending at 2:1 in the gop favor the outside influence (Koch) simply bought the fear & ignorance of the far-right and nothing more. When the people of the state don't get the services they need because public sector workers leave for the private sector, let's see how much they like this vote. When walker continues to take from the people to give to himself, let's see how much they like this vote.

    June 6, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    This is an eye-opener for Wisconsin and Lao off teachers, basic necessities curbig American Middle Class while opening gates for IRAN WAR!!!

    June 6, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. llatpoh

    You cannot spend money you don't have indefinitely. The USA is finally waking up. November cannot come fast enough!
    No more Obama crony socialism... Time to wake up from the nightmare of the past 3 and a half years... Time for common sense to return to the White House. Romney 2012! – an Independent who regrets voting for Obama in 2008

    June 6, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  18. 40acres

    The echos may not be the ones Romney expects.

    June 6, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  19. King

    Europe stile austerity here we come, the labor unions for government first, then the private sector. Why you think corporate is pushing so much money into these election. They have companies in China and India which are costing less, because of the slave wages they pay, why should they pay American middle class wages? I hope American is ready to compete with China and India for American jobs when the middle class is no more.

    June 6, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  20. Sean

    LOL...typical Obama and his campaign to focus on "Obama" - as usual. This race was not about Obama, it was about liberals losing. If Obama was not selfish, as he usually is, he should have campaigned for Barrett. Some unity, huh? I know liberals will say, how come Romney didn't campaign for Walker. Answer: He didn't need to, because Walker was doing a good job on his own. We all knew that Walker was going to win. Just like Romney will win Wisconsin come November.

    June 6, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  21. FedUp

    Well, at least Obama doesn't have to take the blame. He never showed up.

    June 6, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  22. Kate

    It's not going to go away, Walker.

    June 6, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |

    Another divided state. Thanks GOP, everything you all touch turns bitter. You bought another one and fool the fools.
    Because of your so-called victory tonight is defeat in November. Keep patting yourselves on the back.

    June 6, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  24. Nuihc

    Yep, americans are waking up. Finally realizing that unions, since they came into existence, have just been a front for the mafia.

    June 6, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Running virtually opposed, Mittens finally got over 80% of the vote in two primaries yesterday. 66% in South Dakota indicates one out of three are not sold on his lying.

    June 6, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
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