2012ers rally behind Wisconsin governor
February 24th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
9 years ago

2012ers rally behind Wisconsin governor

(CNN) - Potential Republican presidential candidates are throwing their support behind Wisconsin's governor, angling to use the union standoff in that state to demonstrate their own conservative credentials.

On Thursday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's political action committee sent a $5,000 donation to Wisconsin Republicans, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty released a web video praising Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's "tough choices."

Romney, in a statement, said, "Liberal big government interests are fighting efforts to rein in out-of-control public employee pay and benefits in Wisconsin." The group's donation is the maximum amount that a political action committee is permitted to donate to a political party.

Pawlenty's political committee launched a website praising Scott, http://www.standingwithscott.com. The site features a video that splices together news clips of the protests, along with commentary criticizing the role that Organizing for America–President Barack Obama's campaign arm–played in the Wisconsin protests.

In a statement on his website, Pawlenty backs the governor:

"Governor Scott Walker is making tough choices needed to avoid financial ruin," he said. "The nation's governors don't need a lecture from a president who has never balanced a budget. All levels of government need to bring public employee compensation in line with the private sector."

Other potential 2012 candidates are also weighing in.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour tweeted Thursday that Walker "is showing the leadership it takes to turn our country around. He's standing with taxpayers & keeping his word."

Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum compared pro-union protestors in Wisconsin to drug addicts.

"They are acting like their drug is being taken away from them," Santorum told gathering of Republicans Tuesday night in South Carolina, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

In a video posted to his YouTube page, businessman Donald Trump tried to appeal to both union workers and those supporting the governor.

"I've had great relationships with the unions over the years," he said. "But at the same time I fully understand the governor of Wisconsin, what he's trying to do. He's trying to fix a very, very serious problem."

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in a post on her Facebook page, appealed to union workers to stand up to union bosses.

"Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don't be taken in by the union bosses," she wrote. "At the end of the day, they're not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's education budget. They're fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout."

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Haley Barbour • Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty • Wisconsin
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Joshua Ludd

    Taking away the right to collective bargaining isn't a "tough choice" that has anything to do with economics. If it were actually about the money and not punishing the unions who didn't support him in his election bid (the only unions being targeted), then Republicans would have accepted the unions' offer of all the actual wage and benefit cuts they were asking for... but keeping their rights to collective bargaining.

    February 24, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Sgt Schultz

    Crook Walker got caught red-handed in a lie. Walker took the bait and confirmed what we knew all along. This is part of an orchestrated ploy to destroy unions. Once Walker, Christie, Kasich, Scott and the other new Republican Governors break the unions...game over. The Republicans will completely dominate fundraising $. Even at Fox – "Facts Don't Matter" – a couple of their talking heads even conceded such yesterday for the 1st time

    February 24, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. The Real One In NC

    Public employees pay taxes too and are citizens, let's not forget that. Public employees also have the right to demonstrate just as tea party people do. Let's bring public employee's compensation in line with Congress or those on Wall Street. We take care of your kids all day, perform CPR when you need it, put your housefires out when they start and catch the bad guys when they break into your house. Don't treat us like second class citizens just because it is the popular thing to do at the present. Don't balance the budget on our backs when you give big business and the rich tax breaks. For those of you that treat us as the enemy try and do our jobs for 1 week.

    February 24, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. informed voter

    Now it has become crystal clear. The Republican party and their sad group of potential candidates are fully intent on breaking the middle class, lowering the standard of living and continuing lining the pockets of their corporate donors. Busting unions will not balance any budgets, create any jobs, or get our economy moving in the right direction. But it will lower the bar for all American workers and make profit margins higher for the ruling class. Please, all Americans, must remember to vote for the candidates who stand with the American working class and not against them!

    February 24, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the unions are willing to give on the pay ins on the pension and benefits (as I have heard), then why is the governor unwilling to give up on the collective bargining? If there is something that the government (town, county or state) needs the union to give up, then talk about it. There is no reason not to do that; talk to them and get the trade off.

    February 24, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...And the populace,the voters, will be rallying at the Capitolin DC, and at all state capitols this Saturday behind the protesters.

    February 24, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Name king

    I don't think the unions can stand a chance when the repugs and big corporations, stacks up against the unions, middle class families are now left on their own, it won't be too long before the private sector follows suite. Now who is going to buy America's expensive items like hoses and transportation. Will the rich push these items down the through of the poor, and wait for another bubble to burst. Or will the top 2'percent go around and buy, houses for every one free of charge. Stop thinking about your personal satisfaction, and start thinking about the future, if the repugs destroy the middle class, how will these housing industries survive, do you want them to risk giving mortgages to poor folks and watch our country fall into another financial disaster.

    February 24, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Rue Anne

    Palin calling union members "brothers and sisters" ... That takes lame to new levels.

    February 24, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Heidi Davis

    I support the Governor!
    Middle America is being decimated by bad policies, corrupt politicians and businessmen, and paying for illegal immigrants!
    Please stand strong!!

    February 24, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. peace

    They"re trying to get him killed for telling the world in the prank call who all was behind the union busting. that"t the oldest trick in the book put him front street and hope someone knock him off.

    February 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. kyle

    Tax cuts for the rich, pay, healthcare, and pension cuts for the middle class!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Mountaineer

    I think most people would agree that this isn't new! The 2012ers for President in the Republican Party are all for destroying the working class. They want us poor, stupid, and uneducated so they can control our very thoughts. Much like the Reagan era. Leave the thinking and highway robbery to them. Oh, and let them continue to use cronyism and privatize all essential services so they can enrich themselves at the expense of stupid Americans that eat up their line of BULL!

    February 24, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Apparently, none of them are as good as reading polls and generating a strategy for keeping independents as Daniels is.

    "Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don't be taken in by the union bosses," she wrote. "At the end of the day, they're not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin's education budget. They're fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout."

    The people she is describing are, yet again, the Republicans, and this is just more of their projection. The unions in WI, over the past 2-3 years have negotiated numerous voluntary hits demanded by the DEMOCRACTS who controlled WI prior to the Koch brothers placed Walker on what he clearly views as the WI throne. They suffered furloughs and all sorts of concessions in recognition of WI's budgetary problems AND the Dems handed Walker a far healthier budget than most other states had. Then, because he had no true reason for targeting the teachers' unions like this, Walker and his GOPer congresscritters manufactured a budget problem in an effort to justify this nonsense, giving more tax cuts to corporations and veiled handouts to other cronies to the tune of $140M in January. As it has consistently done, the WI public employees union has agreed to the budgetary concessions Walker demanded, but he won't accept because that's not REALLY what this is about. This is about the GOP's quest to destroy the unions because they are one of the greatest obstacles that exists to handing complete control over the country to select giant corporations, destroying the middle-class and turning the USA into a third world nation where 99% of the people have no choice but to accept wages similar to what those giant corporations pay people in China, etc., and 1% own and control pretty much everything. That 1% is already pretty close having arrived at the 90-95% mark as a result of the Bush tax cuts.

    February 24, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Pegg

    Like union leadership have powerful privileges. Sarah, more and more everyday that you speak or text something, you appear more and more to be a pathological liar and a bit delusional – much like a psychopath.

    How is it that anyone takes you seriously at all? I believe Sarah is very well aware that her days of relevance are numbered and few. She is deathly afraid that is she ever shuts up, no one will every pay attention to her again or the the $ for speaking engangments will dry up. She is just a tool useful only to ay ridiculous stuff by her Bosses at FOX that no legitimate Politician would dare say.

    February 24, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Palin is an idiot, obviously she has never read a union contract nor does she realize Fox has a union and neither does she understand her own show had a union.

    February 24, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The blind leading the stupid!

    February 24, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Walker is a Koch head. Davie and Charlie know that Walker is easy to buy off, and the Kochs will get the WI power plants in return. After Walker admitted what he was up to, the repubes should stand with the workers.

    February 24, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. michaelam

    The Teahadists' PACS may start having to direct their "donations" towards Gov. Walkerstan's numerous ethical violations and or criminal charges. The Teahadist front runners might want to start distancing themselves from the great gov.....investigations are getting underway!

    February 24, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    P.S. Palin's husband Todd who is also a fisherman in Alaska belongs to the union.

    February 24, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. mike

    the republican party has made it clear to the american voters they are scabs here comes the mexicans to do the work I wonder how they will get them across the border I guess the tell the tea party to take a coffee break

    February 24, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Martha in CF

    It sure is going to be interesting come the next election. I would say look out you Republicans...........
    The middle class is who makes this nation. The Redumblicans have forgotten this......totally

    February 24, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. willie floyd

    The Reps. newest means of attempting to destroy the middle class in our country. If Dems. don't get off their backsides and turnout a higher than 38% of voters that occured in the mid-terms, we're doomed. I place a certain amount of our current problems on those who choose to "not bother". Bad decisions have bad consequences!

    February 24, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. PalmReader

    Unfortunately for ALL the lying GOPer presidential wannabee's, and considering that the union busting Governor isn't interested in BUDGET CUTTING at all – the Wisconsin union members have already conceded to the financial demands – this is about Scott Walkers ego, and nothing more. I doubt he'll remain Governor much longer. Seems HE has his eyes set on becoming the next Ronnie Reagan Incarnate and living in the White House come 2013. If I were the GOPer presidential wanabee's I wouldn't touch this issue . . . because either way you look at it, they will be losing half the American voting base they'll need to become President. Chalk it up to one more issue of overreach this new brand of GOPer/TeaPers can't seem to avoid.

    February 24, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Jane

    For all you democrat state representative's that decided to flee to another state instead of doing your job be forwarned. You may be required to pay state income tax for the state you are hiding in on your Wisc earned income. It is my hope that the states are looking at this to collect revenue. I as a business person live in one state and work in another and have to pay taxes in the state I work on my income. But I'm sure if this would happen you would just file a nonresident state tax return and be refunded your monies.

    February 24, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    The incestuous relationship of government unions, and ALL unions, and the Democrats has brought most states to the brink of bankruptcy. These dishonest, pandering politicians that were supposed to be watching out for the best interest of the citizens were instead using the citizens money as handout money to the unions for their votes and campaign contributions. Want more? NO PROBLEM, just tell us how much you want, you got it! And I'm sure you'll vote for me in the next election (wink, wink). NOBODY has been looking out for the interests of the taxpayers, UNTIL NOW. Government unions should not be allowed, PERIOD. There is NO counter balance to them like there is in the business world.

    February 24, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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