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. Norm Knauf

    On Wisconsin! Congratulations to Gov Walker. Now the work begins. Can we as Wisconsinites work together? I believe we need to forget our differences and get to work on making the mining bill work. This piece of legislation will have an effect on the entire state if the Assembly and Senate can pull together and make this work. First. Involve the Universities in our state. We have one of the best tools and we need to use there knowledge and energy to get it right. They will be the watch dogs. Secondly, we need to make our state business friendly. Passing the mining bill will bring interest and jobs to Wisconsin. One thing it will do is HELP the Northern people of our state. They have lived poorly long enough. So let's all push for better cooperation among our politicians or we will get people in that will put our people first.

    June 6, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  2. Stephen

    Citizens and taxpayers can fight stabbing each other in the back. That way it's much easier for the rich and privileged to mop up the mess and carry on business as usual. Wake up America.

    June 6, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  3. L. R. Long

    November is 5 months away. This race will barely be mentioned by then, face it. Remember the BP spill? Rep. Gabrielle Giffords? Treyvon Martin?? The democrats aren't sweating this race, just when it starts to look good for the GOP, Mitt's richest chum, Donald Trump, will open his mouth and everyone will forget all about Gov. Walker's ideological crusade. Besides, we know Romney doesn't like to discuss anything having to do with being a governor...

    June 6, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  4. Jerry

    Mittens is looking forward to working with Walker in building a brighter and better future for America....Mittens planning on getting a job in wisconsin? šŸ™‚ Wisconsin exit polls told Mittens what a brighter and better future is coming

    "Asked how they would vote if the presidential election were held today, a 12-point margin emerged. President Barack Obama would have carried the state with 54% to GOP candidate Mitt Romney's 42%."

    June 6, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. R o m n ey G a y Bash ing Hair Cutting at Age 18

    Yes please get the republican sheep to support you as the wealthy are the only class in America.

    Romney you can bash the gays too as you got away with it as a rick kid in the past.

    A vote for Romney is a vote for seperation of the two classes further. Offshore more jobs and help save corporate greed when elected!

    June 6, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. SuperD

    Liberals, Progressive, Democrats,

    Let me help you. You see that light down that tunnel? That's a train and it's headed right toward you. On board is a US population that is pissed off at what the Democrats have turned this country into. The only way not to get run over is to reject your Liberalism and Progressive nonsense and get with the program to get this country moving again.

    June 6, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. PaMom

    Congratulations to the intelligent people of Wisconsin. They know that it will take tough measures to get the debt under control and no matter what, we need to live within a budget. You cannot do this giving everyone what they want and the unions can no longer make unrealistic demands. The dems have done a great job demonizing the rich/and corporations taking away any incentive to work hard for your own success. I hope other govenors will follow suit!

    June 6, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. SuperD

    Look Democrats, you started this with your recall. Now the pie is back in your face. You cannot seem to grasp the concept that the average tax payer is tired of funding the lavish lifestyles of the unions. You make up pathetic excuses why you didn't win (btw, you didn't win because you're WRONG on everything). So I highly suggest you go back and finish that big peice of humble pie.

    June 6, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. beevee

    This recall election means only one thing – if you outspent your opponent by a wide margin you can win an election irrespective of whether you are worthy. That is what may have happened in WI. Besides, most of northern WI is conservative who may have no sympathy for unions. This does not reflect things to come in November general election where Romeny will lose.

    June 6, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Sniffit

    ""Asked how they would vote if the presidential election were held today, a 12-point margin emerged. President Barack Obama would have carried the state with 54% to GOP candidate Mitt Romney's 42%.""

    Let me help YOU. See that sentence at the end of the article? It's data being reported by the same polling places that reported Walker in the lead and winning, and they turned out to be right about that desite the margin by which Walker led Barrett being smaller than the lead they are reporting for Obama over Deputy Deoublethink. Care to wager whether they were right when they reported what you wanted to hear and wrong when they report what yuo don't want to hear?

    June 6, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Terry

    Bought and paid for politicians is one thing, bought and paid for elections is something else. Doesn't it bother anyone that 70% of Walkers campaign money came from out of state and who knows from whom??

    June 6, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Sniffit

    Can we just rename WI to Wiskochsin?

    June 6, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Jason S

    Bought and paid for, that's about all that can be said about these results. Sadly, that's a result of our conservative leaning SCOTUS who brought us Citizens United. Walker's campaign money was largely from outside WI...says something right there.

    June 6, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. Tom

    The new elite in this country are the public union employees.

    Yes, they need to be treated fariley, yes they desrve a fair retirement, – but there needs to be a balance. They are now paid much more than private sector workers and that should NOT be the case.

    I can barely afford the taxes on my house, and I know people out of work for 5 years. and yet the unions workers demand more and more. – Does not sound right to me.

    June 6, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. stew

    Walker and Romney two good old boys with Golden Toilets and hundred dollar bill toilet paper rolls, laughing at the poor Wisconsinites that sealed their fate with allowing a devil to sit on the Governors Throne in Madison.

    June 6, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. dog1

    One more step in the corporate movement to make this a country of minimum to low paid workers. They salivate when they see china with it's millions of 3 dollar a day workers and imagine just how much money they can make when the vast majority of Ameriicans work for six bucks an hour and have no benefits. All you have to do is create a fake lack of jobs so Americans will have to take whatever pay they can get just to have a job. Economists wonder why corporations are sitting on record profits and not hiring, geez get a clue! OF course when the country fails they just take their profits and move on. Sort of sounds like the business model Romney follows, maybe as he says he'll do for this country what he did for the companies he bought. I guess that's why certain upper class citizens are getting dual citizenships. Unfortunately that was supposed to be kept quiet but of course someone had to tell Bachman (now half Swiss, apparently for their goverment health care) who blew their cover. I can just hear the corpoa

    June 6, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Thank God that is over ... no more Wisconsin campaign commercials stinking up Minnesota airwaves. I nearly broke my mute button trying to escape the propaganda.

    Congratulations to Scott Walker on his win ... his second win, actually. Apparently Wisconsin wasn't in a boot him out mood last night. Hopefully Governor Walker will now become a Governor "of the people" and not just the plutocrat he became when first elected. A bit of humble pie for both sides, I'd say. Wisconsin was willing to bring Walker to task without getting rid of him altogether. One can hope this brings much needed compromise to Wisconsin benefiting all of Wisconsin.

    We'll see.

    June 6, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Jill

    Hourly workers like teachers, firefighters, state police, police, are not highly compensated individuals who live lavish lifestyles because they as a working group speak through a union. Union bosses do NOT run Wisconsin – that is ridiculous nonsense that many have bought into thanks to millions of dollars poured into WI by the Koch brothers and Rove. Another Rovism is that the likes of teachers, firefighters and police are the 'takers' and the rest of you are the 'givers'. Well you have made your choice and now must live the bed Walker, Rove, the Kochs, have made for you. Hopefully you are all right and the jobs picture, economy and forward course of Wisconsin is looking good. Time will tell.

    June 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @SuperD: "The only way not to get run over is to reject your Liberalism and Progressive nonsense and get with the program to get this country moving again."

    If the GOP's economic policies of cutting taxes for the rich and deregulating industry works so well, then why did Reagan create huge deficits (and have to raise taxes 11 times) and Bush not only eliminated the Clinton surplus, but left us with losing 700,000 a month by the end of his second term, the economy was in free-fall from a global financial meltdown and the Dow was in the toilet at 7,000?


    June 6, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Wes

    Remember when the wealthy and powerful are riding on the backs of the peasants and the poor to be the best slave they ever whipped. I now will DMA on any life prolonging therapies. I am loathe to consider the trauma that awaits our grandchildren while the opulent few light cigars on yachts with hundred dollar bills and eat rare delights. While the vast majority of humanity hunt through trash dumps and live in sewers drinking unclean water and breathe in our wasted air while eating scantily on the most rancid of society's disposed and excessive scrapings. I will probably end up with the latter group before I die.

    June 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Really?

    @JasonS ... Yes, it says the people who love freedom will take back the country state by state when/where necessary.

    June 6, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. Matt

    A BIG congrats to Gov. Scott Walker and the people of Wisconsin. Job well done!!!!!!!

    June 6, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. TSB8C

    Down with these whack-job unions wasting tax money and bilking the tax payers. Way to go Wisconsin showing the rest of the nation that citizens can fight back against these union crooks.

    June 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @Tom: "and yet the unions workers demand more and more. ā€“ Does not sound right to me."

    Pull your head out! Unions have been making concessions left and right, taking pay cuts, allowing furlough days (that's means they don't get paid those days), paying more for their health care and retirement.

    When are the rich going to pay their fair share? And when are Repubs going to listen to the 62% of American millionaires and billionaires who want their taxes raised?

    When are Repubs going to start caring more about OUR country and less about the Koch brothers and their ilk who could care less about our future and are concerned only with how much money they can make overseas?

    June 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. george_w_tush

    Pres. Obama leads Mittler Romney 52 percent to 40 among registered voters in Wisconsin

    GOP billionaires outspent Dems 7-to-1 in Wisconsin, so Walker better had won. Iā€™d hate for that election to have been stolen by voters

    June 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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