Republicans react to Obama's Wisconsin trip
January 26th, 2011
09:28 AM ET
12 years ago

Republicans react to Obama's Wisconsin trip

Washington (CNN) - The morning after the president's State of the Union speech, politicians are already looking to 2012. In a joint press conference Wednesday morning, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and newly-minted RNC Chairman Reince Priebus discussed Obama's day trip to Wisconsin with reporters, focusing on the role the state is expected to play in the 2012 elections.

"We welcome President Obama, and I'm sure we'll see him a few times between now and 2012," Johnson told reporters "Wisconsin will be a battleground state for 2012, which will be good for us . . . when we drive into Wisconsin we want the signs to say 'Open for Business.'"

When asked by CNN how much campaign effort the RNC would be focus on the state for 2012, Reince Priebus said simply "Barack Obama's [election] map does not add up without Wisconsin being in his column. But the state will be red in 2012."

The President is expected to tour several businesses including an energy company on Wednesday during his visit. When asked what he expected to hear from the president, Johnson said "conservative rhetoric," but added that "actions speak louder than words".

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Reince Priebus • Wisconsin
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I am sure once the "official Republican Party spokespersons" (Palin, Bachmann, Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity) have their say about this trip, the rest of the Republican Party will fall in line claiming this trip is a blatant Political junket trying to steal votes away from the only righteous (read Republican) candidates! They will probably also remind their (mindless) followers to make sure they are representative of their 2nd Amendment rights during any POTUS visit!

    January 26, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Mike Dodd

    I live in Manitowoc, WI. What I find interesting is that this is a small town, and the President is coming to speak at 3 companies that I had never heard of until this week. I don't know anyone that works at them or anyone else who knows of them. Our biggest employer other than the hospital is the Manitowoc Company which employes thousands, but he is not stoping there. Just green energy companies that are being funded by the government that employee a houndred or so people.

    January 26, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. New Age Independant

    I think Obama fantasizes too much. Last night's speech was the same old Obama. More empty campaign promises and not a shred of reality. I'm beginning to think the only thing he's good at is campaigning. It's hard to get excited about anything he says when you know it wont happen. Frankly I'm sick of the 4 year "campaign mode" of this president. How about some substance over style?

    January 26, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Bill

    In the private sector this sort of thing is refered to as a "dog and pony show"

    January 26, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. jpmichigan

    Obama never got out of campaign mode. Running for re-election wil be harder for him, due to the fact the American people know that he flips/flops on important issues. For the pass 2 years while the Democrats had ownership of the Hill, he by passed the constitution and the will of the people. Yesterdays speech was political rhetoric, a campaign speech. Once in office as a re-elected President , with nothing to loose, he wil do just as before. His actions and those of the Democratic party will place this great nation in bankruptcy, to gain political status!

    January 26, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. America fell asleep

    If we are already campaigning for 2012, I can see that these newly minted GOP's in congress have no plans to work on jobs creation. I'd like to see them acutally working pretty much full time, like the rest of real Americans have to do...And I'm not talking about the retired tea party fools out there screaming for President Obama to keep his government hands off their Medicare and SS when they just voted in a mess of government who want to take that very thing away from me and my generation in about 20 yrs.

    January 26, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Dan

    If Wisconsin is open for business, why did they just pass a new law that will eliminate thousands of jobs for wind power.
    States around Wisconsin have used the news to show businesses that Wisconsin is not open for business and is instead closing businesses.

    Wisconsin businesses will have to import commodities and power from other states because of the bill.

    Additionally, Wisconsin manufacturers who rely on rail to move their products to other markets received bad news when the rail improvements were rejects by Gov. Walker. These would have been paid for by the stimulus to help Wisconsin manufacturers reduce their shipping expenses. Instead, Wisconsin manufacturers have talked that they may have to leave the state because shipping expenses are too high from Wisconsin to most markets.

    January 26, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Johnson told reporters "Wisconsin will be a battleground state for 2012, which will be good for us . . . when we drive into Wisconsin we want the signs to say 'Open for Business.'"

    This Open for Business sign nonsense was covered by our local news station. Quite humorous considering that Johnson has decided not to continue the light rail project. Apparently DRIVE into Wisconsin is the key phrase ... except of course, Wisconsin borders aren't actually all that accessible, situated so very up north and all as Wisconsin is. How many people other than Wisconsinites will actually see this bill board is debatable.

    January 26, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Dominic

    Now living in WI, Ron Johnson unfortunately appears intellectually challenged with the demands of running/advocating for a State for the benefit all the people rather than running a business for one's own prosperity. I think WI will do very well over the next few years, thanks to the base of investment that previous senators and politician's have made, rather than the 'cut and grow' (what a ridiculous phrase!) methods of the GOP. We need broad tinking politicians in DC – the jury is out bigtime on RJ, but the start is incredibly, depressingly unimpressive.

    January 26, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. GL

    Both states, as well as the entire midwest region, are expected to play a crucial role in the next presidential election. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday indicates that Obama has a 61 percent approval rating in the midwest, six points higher than his national approval rating of 55 percent.

    Republicans are souding like the are SCARED and the need to be.

    January 26, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Margie

    Gee how come now when they have two republicans just elected all the business who refused to hire during the last two years are "open for business" and ready to hire. Is it because already WI is slashing social programs in favor of breaks and lower taxes for THOSE business. Typical republican.

    In fact all over the country in the red states the self same business who wouldn't hire and create jobs are starting to fall all over themselves trying to make the new republican "masters" look good.

    January 26, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Katie

    Yeah, conservative actions were so beneficial to the folks in Wisconsin, right? It used to be huge in manufacturing, not so much any more – 30 years of republican "leadership" pretty much ended that.

    January 26, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Ernie

    As usual Obama is getting out of town, now he's going to Wisconsin what is he going to do tell the people from Wisconsin that he has truned on the swithch and jobs will be coming to Wisconsin don't count on it. Obama still believes that "Government Creates Jobs". I don't think the people from Wisconsin believe a word in Obama's "State of the Union" message. When he gets to Wisconsin the democrates wil have all the usual people in the crowd cheering for him but nothing will be done. I going to give a true statement, "Obama wil be a 4 year no jobs created by the private sector" President. The last time this happened was when Herbert Hoover was Presidentl and it lasted well into FDR's first two terms. Obama is following the same path as Preident Hoover and FDR. Obama is going to be a one and done President. Obama wants the American to be more patient that what they have been. The patients have run out people want jobs and want to have money in their pocket and want the ability to buy the things they want. Like I said before if Obama gets a second term the United States will look like "Cuba" Obama will leave office and have all of his benefits jpaid for buy the tax payers. I guess this is the change everyone wanted !!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Shari from Madison

    Yeah, we'll be in the red but not the way Johnson means. Johnson and the republicans seem to think that everything should be governed by the free market concept and to Hell with anyone who are unable to compete in the free market. Those who are physically or mentally challenged and/or those who are unable to do a high paying job can just die and decrease the surplus population. The Repugnant Republicans don't give a damn about them. They only care about the fat cat CEO's getting all the money and keep it for themselves. May God have mercy on our country and our state!!!

    January 26, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Lisa P

    After 2 years of Governor Walker's backwards-looking, future-denying, anti-worker, anti-education, anti-research, anti-innovation-of-all-kinds, anti-health-care-reform-of-any-kind, anti-environment, free-ride-for-the-antique-businesses-that-contributed-to-my-campaign policies I expect Wisconsin to go solidly blue in 2012 and for many years thereafter. Wisconsinites just needed a reminder that the GOP has become a disaster waiting to happen in this state.

    "Open for business" indeed. Just be sure to bring your checkbook.

    January 26, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |