Lt. Gov: Obama skipping Wisconsin recall 'speaks volumes'
President Bill Clinton campaigned in Wisconsin on Friday with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
June 2nd, 2012
09:23 AM ET
11 years ago

Lt. Gov: Obama skipping Wisconsin recall 'speaks volumes'

Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) - President Barack Obama's absence in Wisconsin to campaign for the Republican governor's challenger "speaks volumes," and is a troubling sign for Democrats, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said.

In an interview with CNN on Friday, Kleefisch was asked about former President Bill Clinton's stop in the state that day.

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She said Democrats believe Tuesday's recall election is "a dry run for the presidential race."

Kleefisch then transitioned to Obama.

"What's more obvious is that the president himself - the current president - is not in town," she said. "And that, to me, speaks volumes, his absence."

Asked to elaborate, she went a bit further.

"I think what it says specifically is that the president doesn't want to be associated with a losing campaign, and Tom Barrett's campaign right now doesn't have a whole lot of facts to stand on."

Clinton urged Wisconsin Democrats to vote for Barrett in Tuesday's recall election, saying Gov. Scott Walker has led the state without honest negotiation.

Walker, Kleefisch and four state senators are on the recall ballot.

Walker and GOP allies in the state legislature voted in January 2011 to limit raises for public employees, except police and firefighters, to the rate of inflation. They also moved to bar unions from deducting dues from workers' paychecks.

Kleefisch spoke at an evening rally hosted by Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party Express. She was not officially on the schedule for the event, but her aides said she had an unrelated event nearby.

Asked how she was feeling, given the fact that Wisconsin residents could vote her out of office in a few days, Kleefisch said she's "not afraid to lose."

"I don't think the governor or I is afraid to lose because we've done what has been right for our state, for our children, and for all the sons and daughters of Wisconsin."

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Filed under: 2012 • Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Justjean

    Obama is WAY ahead in WI polls. Hard to believe that his supporters would vote for Walker. This sould be a very intersting election. IF it fair. Votes from Waukesha are going to have to be counted and recounted.

    June 2, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Grow up already...

    Ran away and hid in IL do aviod an "honest debate"? Kevin, you're either not from WI or you have amnesia!! The wones who were avoiding honest debate were the Pubs under Fitzgerald and Scat Walker, who lied to get into office in the first place. If he was honest about what he was going to do, he would have been creased in the election.

    June 2, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Sue

    If Walker wins, Romney will DEFINITELY win Wisconsin in November!!! Obama, Democrats, and the MSM-supporting Obama-can spin/defend/make excuses all they want for the Dem's loss--but the facts will stand!! And, let's be honest here-they do not want Obama there, because that will only increase the chances that Barrett loses!!

    June 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Ozzie

    Every republican on the planet is troubling. When Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are your leaders and spokepersons...

    June 2, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. normajean @ verizon ,com

    There are too many states with too many problems for the president to physically be involved in all of them.. He has to do what is most important for him at the moment and one thing he doesn't need is more criticizm from Repubs and you... who do nothing else anyway!!!! Good grief......He has had the Repubs and congress turn down every thing he has tried to do and then call HIM a failure. You all and the Repubs should look in a mirror and see who is really blocking progress!!!!!Bill Clinton is working in harmony with the president and is representing him in Wisconsin....which is as good as it gets!!!!!!

    June 2, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. rla

    When will you Dems get over the fact that there are other people in the country but you????? Guess what they also make up their own minds unlike the lemming dems and to top it off those thinking people have the ability to make their own decisions and accept the consequences! I am a union man but could not for the life me see what came from the politicizing of the unions and their over stepping of common sense...Backlash is a nasty thing!

    June 2, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. theINDEPENDENTone

    Governor Walker took the brave Statesman stance... he did what was right for the State, its citizens, people, families and children. It was a brave stance to put your state above yourself. To Governor Walker its not about him but the prosperity of his state and its citizens.

    Its a shame you have to be brave to make a stance like that these days. After all that should be the responsibility of elected officials... "them not me".

    But in an age when the OBAMA's say "all this for a damn flag"... you have to be brave to stand up for your flag, country and its people.

    June 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Kevin like Walker is the Koch bros lapdog

    June 2, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Please Grow Up

    I don't think it would hurt the recall if the President were to show up and remind folks that labor unions, not millionaires built the system. The Koch brothers do not put bread on your table – you put it on theirs.

    June 2, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Stuffit

    Koch brothers don't hate America, they hate to see it destroyed by the greedy corrupt unions that are stealing our money and inhibiting job creation. The trillion dollar stimuus bill went to the corrupt union bosses, welfare frauds, dope addicts and other corrupt Obama supporters. We were told that if Congress passed it unemployment would not rise above 8%. Who lied, Walker or the most incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady president we have ever had? Don't forget, the hair plugged gaffer he shoved on us as a Vice President declared the summer of 2010 as the "summer of prosperity thanks to the stimulus program. It is easy to tell from these responses that the democrat liberals live in a very altered reality, must be the drugs.

    June 2, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Mike

    Even moderate Wisconsin has had enough of Obama's Californian/Greek-style polices. Walker has stabilized the state's finances and has been creating jobs much faster than the national average. Wisconsin overwhelmingly wants Walker – it's the DNC, big labor and other outside/national forces which are trying to recall him.

    June 2, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. sayer

    Romney hasn't showed up either. Why does he always get a pass? All he does is criticize the current admin. he never says what he is actually going to do unless it's been proven to be the right decision. And he copies every campaign strategy from the president, too.

    June 2, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Bootstomper

    Come on packer land vote democratic. Come on badger land Obama Biden 2012!

    June 2, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Independent

    Obama has a record of campaigning for candidates in off year/special elections and the candidate losing (i.e. Martha Coakley in MA and John Corzine in NJ). I feel that he simply does not want to continue this unflattering trend.

    June 2, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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