Priebus: A Walker win means trouble for Obama
May 30th, 2012
12:53 PM ET
8 years ago

Priebus: A Walker win means trouble for Obama

(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus framed Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin as a referendum on the Democratic Party that he said will face further obstacles in the presidential election if incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker is victorious.

"If Walker wins next Tuesday, which we are very confident he will, Obama's going to have a much tougher road ahead in Wisconsin this fall," Priebus said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters of the state Obama won by almost 15% in 2008. "Certainly if Wisconsin goes red I think it's lights out for Barack Obama."

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Priebus, the former Wisconsin GOP chairman, touted his party's ground efforts in the state including field offices, the identification of over 2 million voters in the state and new technology that he said is engaging Republicans across the country in their Badger State efforts.

He also, somewhat mockingly, said he is "looking forward" to seeing the results of the Democratic ground game.

"We're looking forward to see what their top notch ground game will accomplish on Tuesday and what that will mean in November," Priebus said, now that they are "all in" in the state.

His comments come on the same day Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to visit the state on behalf of Democratic challenger and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Wasserman Schultz recently characterized the election as a "test run" for the Democratic ground game ahead of the general election.

"It's given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run we need of our massive, significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign," the Florida representative said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

However, Priebus said the president is "more concerned with weighing the political implication of the Wisconsin recall," while Republicans have "made a clear choice to provide the resources and support to Gov. Walker."

Walker and Barrett will face-off in a June 5 election, the culmination of a two year fight over collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. High profile politicians have visited the state recently, where millions have been spent on ads from local and national groups.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida traveled to the state in recent weeks to campaign for Walker, while Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association, is scheduled to visit the state on Barrett's behalf Thursday.

Recent polling shows Walker up by single digits in the race classified as a toss-up by non-partisan political handicappers Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Reince Priebus • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Sorry, but Mittens would STILL need to sweep almost every single swing state left to win the election, which is highly unlikely. Also, Obama has consistently been leading in WI polls.

    May 30, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. California Gary

    I don't see it as a "toss up"........I think its going to be more of a "toss out". The GOP has invested big bucks to get a small lead in the polls, but its easier to tell a pollster how you will vote than it is to actually make the effort to get down to the polls and pull the lever for your guy. I think there is more passion on the part of the Dems in this one.......their people will make the extra effort on election day and that will make the difference.

    May 30, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Jules

    So they woould like you to believe.

    May 30, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Dan

    Actually, it's quite the contrary to what Priebus is saying.

    If voters think things are getting better, they vote for the incumbent.
    If Walker wins, it likely means President Obama wins.
    If Walker loses, than President Obama is in trouble.

    May 30, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    No, trouble for Wisconsin

    May 30, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. cali girl

    Priebus is making no sense.

    May 30, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. rs

    Well, it might and might not. Removing Walker may appease those factions in the Wisconsin populations and drain off their anger against the elite right. On the other hand, it may push them further into Obama's court if that slime actually wins.

    May 30, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Caliifornia Conservative

    GO WALKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You have it in the bag Scott.

    May 30, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. RINO Bil

    I want to know two thing from Reince:
    1. What medication is he on?
    2. Where can I get some?

    I bet the GOP wishes the Man of Steele was back.

    May 30, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. B

    If Walker goes down, so does Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the GOP masterminds responsible for this right-wing agenda.

    May 30, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    "Certainly if Wisconsin goes red I think it's lights out for Barack Obama."

    More dramatics on behalf of Priebus. The fact is – Wisconsin is not voting for the POTUS right now and that is a big difference. While I do think this might be somewhat troubling for the democrats – we can still get through this if we don't buy into the republicans outright lies they they have somewhat "won the White House" in November by Walker's failure to be recalled. I still believe Walker will win this unfortunately but this is in no way any indication that they want Willard as president but stay tuned for more dramatics on behalf of the RNC to play this out to the fullest and try to suggest the country wants a return to the failed policies of the Bush years.

    May 30, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Joe

    Oh please, if Walker was trailing in the polls Priebus would already be saying a Walker loss doesn't mean anything for the general election. This guy has opportunist built into his psyche.

    May 30, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    How come Republican governors seem to have so much time NOT to govern?

    May 30, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. the Situation

    Priebus just reminds me of that little weasel.

    May 30, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. TomNPitt

    So if Walker loses, does that mean Romney needs to go back to buying companies with big pensions?
    Lights out Romney!!

    May 30, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |

    Walker & Priebus are in for a rude awakening next week. Let's not forget that Walker is disenfranchising republicans as well. It doesn't how much money gets tossed into his coffers, the choice is up to The People, not these fascists corporations. Walker has sold out Wisconsin and Willard will sell out America if elected.

    May 30, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. demogoat

    Mr. Priebus thinks he is the wizard of OZ, pulling all the strings for the GOP. Hope he is wrong.

    May 30, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Wake up people

    You sure hope so don't you Priebus. And so what if President Obama loses Wisconsin, it won't be the only one, and he will win more than he loses. Because thank God, the majority of Americans have a brain and know Robmey is a parasite, and plenty don't have a problem with a black POTUS. Unlike your paranoid crowd.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 30, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Dean

    Walker's victory will not bode well for any Democrat.

    May 30, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. dnick47

    It means absolutely nothing to me in Michigan. What counts is the fear I have that a flip-flopper like Romney may lead the nation through four of the most distarous years ever experienced by any nation. His dad was a disaster for Michigan and I have no doubt that the son will prove an equal or worse catastrophe for the nation.

    May 30, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. gr8usa

    Wisconsin, the state where great experienced teachers are being let go purely to save money. It makes me very sad for the children in my home state.

    May 30, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. kakaraka

    Are still people there in Winsconsin who support Walker? Really? I'm not going to say anything about Wisconsin then if Walker really wins. I'm done with this. It's beyond understanding that people would vote against self interest for Walker.

    May 30, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. rla

    Democrats don't even see the train coming do they???

    May 30, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Jim Hahn

    A Walker win means nothing to the Obama campaign. Obama is not running against Walker, he is running against Romney which is a very different election.

    May 30, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. O..running on Cow-Pie-Diplomacy...

    A win for Walker is trouble for Obama..but the win for Romney means no more "Cow-Pie-Diplomacy" from Obama....

    May 30, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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