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. grahame rhodes

    Thank God for Canada

    June 6, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Jackson

    And yes, Wisconsin polls still show Obama with a lead, even after last night.

    But why let that get in the way of your talking point, right Mittens?

    June 6, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. carrotroot

    The only take away I can see is that it is very difficult to unseat an incumbent ... even if they are unpopular.

    June 6, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. jOHN

    I guess he doesnt need the votes of union workers.

    June 6, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. works for me

    wipe your chin Romney... again!

    June 6, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. James M.

    Does he mean that the Incumbent will win?

    June 6, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Tod Allswang

    Exit polls show 36% of union workers" voted for Walker. That is appalling. But in my opinion those workers' have been hoodwinked and vote against their own economic self-interest based on the false belief that all their tax money supports the welfare queen.

    So the republican slogan should be "Bringing Jobs Back to America at Working Poor Wage Rates."

    June 6, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Keeping it Real

    @Jackson "And yes, Wisconsin polls still show Obama with a lead, even after last night."

    Yes, while that is true, Obama's popularity has waned considerably due to his economic policies. Walker did what he felt was necessary to bring the state's economy back to responsible levels, and most people in the state agreed. Obama has stayed away from this fight for the very reason that citizens would rather have a fiscally responsible government. Sure, it would be nice to just toss money willy-nilly everywhere, but the long term effects are not good regardless of who the President is, or what party controls government. That seems to be lost in Obama's talking points,and it will likely cost him the election because he now has a dismal economic record, and he can't sweep it under the rug for swing voters.

    June 6, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. bleedsnyblue

    Deist- the radical right wing "Chri$tian$" don't accept suicide (or evolution for that matter). The good people of Wisconsin were just intelligently designing themselves out of jobs and services they don't police, fire, transportation, etc. And education, of course. They're far too intelligent for that.

    June 6, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. stan

    I think if this man wins, America is lost.
    You can't run a Democracy like a CEO of a company...
    How is this corporate raider who specialized in stripping companies of employees going to give us jobs?
    And how can anyone believe that he is qualified?
    The current president has not fully succeeded, but remember, America was losing 750,000 jobs a month when former president Bush left office. Now we are gaining – some months 250,000 jobs...that is a million job swing. We have to realize that things were so awful when Mr. Obama took office, and we have to exercise some degree of patience and wisdom. You can't fix in 4 years, what was 8 terrible years in the making...

    June 6, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    When will the American voters realize that conservative economics is also known as "boom then bust" economics. The policies will initially create a short term boom on Wall Street, which is always followed by a short term bust on Main Street.

    Consider this, though. When Wall Street booms, who is the winner? When Main Street busts, who is the winner? If you guessed the same answer for both questions, then you get it.

    June 6, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. D$

    Face it Dems. the clock is ticking and its a matter of days before you will have to start paying your own way. Enough with the side show antics (abortion,gays,church etc.) Economy Economy Economy Vote Mitt 2012!

    June 6, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. SkiOne

    New direction? Oh you mean what America was like in the early 1900's? Sorry the loss of collective bargining is a loss for all Americans. What's next, re-introducing segregation or how about repealing woman's suffrage?

    June 6, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Coloradan

    Careful Mitt, what may "echo" this Fall is your statement that you "enjoy firing people" or your taking credit for saving the auto industry after you advocated for letting them go bankrupt, or your saying "I stand by what I said, whatever it was that I said".

    June 6, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. bilk7

    Wonder what Romney will have to say after Walker is indicted?

    June 6, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. bilk7

    If Romney continues to cozy up to the extreme right wing, he'll lose Independents and the election. Doesn't he know the primary is over and he needs to reach out to more than the GOP base if he wants to win a general election?

    June 6, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Charlie from the North

    Don't let Romney take you for a ride. You can learn a lot from a dog.

    June 6, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Pam from Iowa

    Romney and Walker have a lot in common: the millions of dollars they receive from the 1 %!

    June 6, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney will fall on his own sword, money and five(5) sons who don't serve in our U.S. Military and no generations of Romney's have ever served in our U.S. Military. I'd say our sons and daughters serving have done a darn good job protecting these Romneys and their wealth, in fact many have died protecting the Romney's and their money.

    June 6, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. ObamaJoe

    Mitt doesn't understand,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    he praised Gov. Scott Walker's win,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    he lost voters ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    June 6, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Eric

    Doesn't he know that union bosses are people too?

    June 6, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. QS

    Of course he praises Walker – they are both in favor of the further and continuing decline of democracy in our country while ushering in a new era of corporatization wherein employers will not be prevented from discriminating against their employees, whether through pay or beilefs.

    June 6, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Heil Mitt Romney!

    Way to go Mr. Mitt. Mitt Romney held his campaign in Texas last night at this mansion who holds the art/paintings of Adolph Hitler and a rare copy of Mein Kompf! He had his picture taken right underneath a few of them.
    If this had been the Dems we never would have heard the end of it. The hypocrisy of it all.

    ~Mitt Romney...Short on values, short on committments.
    "I'm extremly what you want me to be."~

    Mitt Romney, the Draft Dodger! Mitt Romney and all his draft defferments to chose missionary work in France vs. serving his country in the military. Shame, shame on Mitt.

    June 6, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. itsme

    Well do the results say that the incumbents always win? Or do the results give us insight into how much a vote costs? With over $65 million spent on politics in Wisconsin, the GOP spent 8-10 times more than the Dems. This resulted in 6% more of the votes and a win. Screw the teachers, it's about the money. I grieve with the forefathers of this country: "I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it’s birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and to bid defiance to the laws of their country." The letter was first published in Ford's Writings of Thomas Jefferson in 1892 "

    June 6, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Chipster

    Union negotiations for income and benefits have lifted non-union workers out of poverty in the past. Union jobs provided competition for skilled workers. Charting the decline in the number of union members and middle class income over the past 40+ years, it is clear that middle class income and benefits have spiraled downward on a parallel path. The disparity between rich and poor has grown at an alarming rate and we are quickly returning to the era of robber barons who ruled unrestrained. It's incredible to me that laborers and union workers are supporting their own decline due to distracting issues like abortion, religion, gays......allowing powerful interests to use these issues to manipulate voters. It's tragic to see corporate thieves gaining even more power and more control every day.

    June 6, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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