GOP Bigs Swoop In to Help Wis. Governor Ahead of Recall Election
(MADISON, Wis.) -- Embattled Gov. Scott Walker is getting a little help from his friends ahead of the recall election in Wisconsin on June 5.
Over the next two weeks, three GOP governors will flex their political muscles and campaign with Walker as the Republican Governors Association (RGA) makes a concerted effort to boost his standing in Wisconsin less than two weeks before the recall vote.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is slated to campaign with him on Thursday, while Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is also the chairman of the RGA, will be with Walker on Tuesday, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will join him next Friday.
“This is not about Wisconsin. This is about our country. This is about the fact that a governor went into his state and did exactly what he promised to do,” Haley said in a Fox News interview with Greta van Susteren Wednesday evening. “If he loses this, it will take the spine out of every governor across this country. If he wins this, we will see more power and strength across the governors across this country than we’ve ever seen before.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who serves as the vice chairman of the RGA, already campaigned with Walker in Green Bay, Wis., in early May, saying he traveled to the state to “stand with two incredible friends” -- Walker and his wife, Tonette.
Mike Schrimpf, communications director for the RGA, told ABC News that the RGA has invested more than $6 million in the Wisconsin race to support Walker and launched its seventh television ad on Wednesday.
Without coordination with the RGA, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty hit the trail with Walker at a manufacturing facility in La Crosse, Wis., earlier this week.
One thing each of these governors helping Walker has in common is that they all sit on many potential vice presidential lists. Each of the governors, except for Jindal, who initially backed Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also has campaigned with Romney.
While the presumptive Republican nominee has not campaigned with Walker, Romney has voiced his support for the Wisconsin governor.
“Gov. Walker is, in my opinion, an excellent governor,” Romney said during a tele-townhall in March, “and I believe that he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin, and to insist that those people who are working in the public sector unions have rights to effect their wages, but that these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them, and so I support the governor in his effort to reign in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years.”
The effort to recall Walker emerged after he pushed to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining powers. A recent poll shows Walker leading in Wisconsin by six points over his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
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