Romney reacts to Wisconsin recall vote
June 5th, 2012
11:22 PM ET
2 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. Tony

    SuperD,
    Let me help you out with yesterday's result. In the exit polls from yesterday's election, Obama led Romney by 7 points. The same people who voted to keep Scott Walker would vote for Obama over Romney, 51% to 44%. The Marquette University Poll before the election, which gave Walker a 7-point lead over Barrett, also gave Obama a 8-point lead over Romney. Yesterday, Scott Walker won by 7 points. The trainwreck that is coming in November is not the one that you think.

    June 6, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. ladyfon

    "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." This statement on a nationwide level would be "Millions of American's from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money oh and union dues spent on behalf of Barak Obama."

    June 6, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Deist

    What happened last night was an act of suicide by some middle class Americans, who were intoxicated by the lies of the wealthy out-of-staters who funded this attack upon collective bargaining. Sure Willard Romney loves it, because he sees just how much $$$ it takes to buy the minds of the terminally stupid, and he thinks the same scam will work in November.

    June 6, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. JFKINAZ

    This is classic coming from someone just bought and paid for by billionaires and coporations outspending the oponent 10:1 approximately. See you have been conquered and divided by the sponsors of Citizens vs. United. As I am sure you are in the 99% with the rest of us, you have been duped and turned against other hard working Americans. While Unions are not perfect, they have a place in our economy to protect workers bargaining rights. Is it a perfect system? No. But yesterday proved that the powerful can buy an election and divide the 99%. They pitted the 99% against each other. You successfully took the bait! Congratulations!

    @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 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. rs

    It is said you can't fix stupid. As Mr. Romney opines: "Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – " What they are "prevailing against are state employees and the quickly shrinking Middle-Class. Hardly a victory for anyone.
    Remember- the ones who benefit most from tax cuts are the insanely rich (like Mr. Romney). The ones who are hurt most by government spending cuts are the much larger poor and middle class.

    June 6, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. JFKINAZ

    This is classic coming from someone just bought and paid for by billionaires and coporations outspending the oponent 10:1 approximately(thank you SCOTUS). See you have been conquered and divided by the sponsors of Citizens vs. United. As I am sure you are in the 99% with the rest of us, you have been duped and turned against other hard working Americans. While Unions are not perfect, they have a place in our economy to protect workers bargaining rights. Is it a perfect system? No. But yesterday proved that the powerful can buy an election and divide the 99%. They pitted the 99% against each other. You successfully took the bait! Congratulations!

    @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 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    For the past decade or so, corporations have slowly and quietly disbanded unions throughout America. And while it's never reported in the media, these folks lose their jobs, their benefits, and their pensions. Many are rehired at minimum wage doing the exact job they previously held. Most end up becoming self employed with no benefits at all. I can't think that "taking away" from Americans is of ANY benefit for future American prosperity down the road.

    Faulting my neighbor for having a higher paying job than I isn't on my "to-do" list either. I definitely wouldn't want see anyone lose their job. And just as certain, I would never cheer when they do lose their jobs. Having been there, done that I was given lesson in humility (and reality) I would never wish on anyone.

    June 6, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Beezy

    somebody mentioned that the american people need to wake up. um i think they have. this election proves it. Americans are sick of liberals shoving their ideoligy down our throats. can't wait to call mr. romney president romney in a couple months.

    June 6, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Dustin

    All this proves is a forced, second rate, candidate will always lose. It happened in 2004 with Kerry, it happened in WI yesterday, and it will likely happen in November with Romney

    June 6, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Dee

    The amount of money being spent to buy the election should be donated to pay down the deficit that they are so concerned about.

    June 6, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Jules

    But if the Dems take the senate in WI, it won't echo far and in any event, it won't echo far enough to help Romney. When the Repubs in my family say they won't vote for Romney, he isn't doing so well.

    June 6, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Song

    That was a beautiful thing in Wisconsin. Liberals trying to impede progress were soundly put to bed. I had to switch over to MSNBC to see how Ed and the rest of the crazy libs would take the loss. They were poor losers just as I expected but it sure was FUNNY.

    June 6, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Bob

    A flood of corporate (KOCH BRO) money, and a LOT of election fraud were the only thing that saved Walkers hide this time.

    But the investigations continue, and he will end up in jail.

    June 6, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Mark

    Lynda/Minnesota – You hit the nail right on the head. Hopefully middle class/working class Republicans will wake up before it's too late. Slowly more and more of the costs have been moved from the employers onto the workers while those at the top reap the benefits. It's not hard to see who's been making out like bandits, but that seems ok with most middle class/working class Republicans as long as their neighbor doesn't make out any better then them.

    June 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Woman In California

    Liar. This is in no way a "victory" as republicans want you to believe. Not only did the people of Wisconsin put Walker on notice and bring him down a notch – they showed the republican party they are NOT in bed with them either. In fact, it did more to HELP the president than it did their clown of a candidate Willard. Bottom line for me is IF WI can live with Walker so can I.

    Obama 2012

    June 6, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. David

    This was a State election, bought and paid for with money from outside the state. So, much for local control of government.

    June 6, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. bleedsnyblue

    Romney: "Congratulations, Scott! How much did you spend to make the voters embrace fiscal austerity and lower wages for people that actually work for a living?"
    Walker: "Only about $15 million. That includes the half million or so I had to drop on squelching this investigation. But it all worked out. Money well spent! Especially as none of it actually came out of my pocket! Hahahhaha!"
    Romney: "Hahaha. They say there's one born every minute! But no holes in your shoes, am I right?"
    Walker: "No, sir! I still have lots of money in the bank, for the next election.. ."
    Romney: "Just don't spend any on the people in your state. unless its to take a few contributors to Packer games, or to subsidize a few companies that are downsizing jobs and outsourcing to India, to jack their profit margin higher."
    Walker: "You bet! Can I contribute some to your campaign? I can form a corporation and throw unlimited untraceable cash for your people to do more attack ads!"
    Romney: "Please do. And remember to send the Koch brothers and the Murdoch family thank you notes. They're big on form. They appreciate it when the politicians they own grovel and kiss their butts."
    Walker: "Woof! Pant pant pant..."
    Romney: "Good boy. Heel. Now roll over for them and cut the corporate income taxes there a bit more. Blame the gap in spending on the immoral single welfare mothers and their unruly, uneducated kids."
    Walker: "That goes without saying. Good luck in November, Mitt!"
    Romney: "I've got more money than Croesus. Who needs luck?"
    Walker: "Hahahaha."
    Romney: "Hahahaha."

    June 6, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    If Republican economic ideology is so good, why is it that implementing always results in economic cycles of "boom then bust". The bust phase always lasts at least twice as long as the boom phase. Reagan gave us two self-inflicted recessions during his two terms of office, and was forced to raise taxes to correct for his overzealous tax cuts.

    George W. Bush implemented tax cuts, deregulation, defense spending, and everything else his Republican Congress wanted to give him. What did it do for us? Long range projections predicted trillion dollar deficits. Republicans promised the country jobs growth and prosperity. Instead, we got another Wall Street boom that lasted from '01 to '07, which made it one of the longest "trickle down" boom periods of all time.

    This extended boom phase was followed by an extraordinarily wide sweeping recession. Most recessions since the Great Depression have hit primarily one economic sector, which allows for the other sectors to pull us out. The Great Recession hit housing, autos, banking and investment, manufacturing, construction, with equal impunity.

    We have no strong industry to lead us out of the Bust Phase, not unless we can find a new one. In the 1980's we had the PC explosion. In the 1990s, we had the explosive growth of the world wide web. What industries are available today to lead us out of recession? The industry for new growth is energy, green energy.

    June 6, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Peace

    @ Dustin
    I fully agree with you. In Wisconsin people learnt that "stay the course" is the best option to take. It worked during Iraq war, it will work in Wisconsin and come Nov. good thinkers should apply the same while making final decision.

    June 6, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Joi Gibson

    While this may be quite disappointing, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE folks. It is unfortunate unions have been made out to be the bad guys – it's not like they negotiated these contracts with themselves – the employers accepted the terms as well. But when times get rough, for some reason, it's only the employees who must sacrifice. The employers are still living large; e.g., take-home cars and generous allowances. The silver lining, even the folks who voted to keep Walker prefer President Obama over Willard. We lost this particular battle, but by no means have we lost the fight. Anything worth fighting for is never easy. We need to fight for President Obama and all working, middle-class Americans. The one percent are doing just fine.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!

    June 6, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Woman In California

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    Out of all the posts here you are 100% right and balanced. This was a state decision and they did what they felt was is in THEIR best interest and I respect and congratulate them for that. However, in this case, I think both sides "win" here and there are no losers.

    June 6, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. oldbikerbeatch

    Yep, guess the Democrats will have to realize that folks in Wisconsin REJECT their "new order" attempts. People just don't want to work hard and have it all taken away by a party that thinks illegal immigrants and lazy welfare cheats should be given a free ride. Unions are going to have to make some concessions – the voters have said so, through their votes. And, I see the narcissist-in-chief was NOTABLY absent in this election, something that demonstrates that the only thing he cares about is himself.

    June 6, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Investment Advisor

    Spin, Spin Liberal Spin! Get over it! the people of Wisconsin spoke loud and clear!

    June 6, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. The REAL Truth...

    @SuperD – 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.
    -------------------------–
    NO! Let me help you. That train you talk of is NOT the US population, it's a frakkin' FISCAL CRISIS brought on by MANY, MANY YEARS of failed GOBP policies, like reduced taxes on the job creators (read: wealthy), trick-down supply-side economics that flat out DO NOT WORK, that have landed in the Dems lap to FIX.
    Our system is BROKEN. The best thing you can do is EDUCATE yourself with the FACTS and the TRUTH.
    FACT: the GDP and economy has ALWAYS (last 100 yrs) fared better under Dem Congressional control, in TIMES OF HIGHER TAX RATES.
    Look it up. Stop drinking the cool-aid!!

    June 6, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    Darn those unions for crashing the stock market and needing a bailout....oh wait that was Willard's buddies on Wall Street.

    June 6, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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