Fitchburg, Wis. — Governor Scott Walker visited the Madison suburb of Fitchburg tonight, ending a long day that saw earlier stops in the Green Bay and Milwaukee. Before a crowd of about 50 volunteers, Walker delivered his usual stump speech, emphasizing the job gains and taxpayer savings the state has seen during his year-and-a-half tenure. It was his standard pitch, but to his fans here, who were manning the phones, it was well-received.
During his speech, one woman’s cell phone began ringing with a particularly obnoxious ring tone. Walker stopped and said “that’s opportunity calling,” prompting several in the room to laugh. “Some of the most fulfilling contacts I had today were with people who came up to me and said, ‘I voted for your opponent two years ago, but I’m voting for you now,’” Walker told the crowd. “And the reason they said that was because they couldn’t believe that someone could have the courage to take on the tough problems.”
Following his short talk, Walker met with reporters and responded to a press release issued by Wisconsin Democrats that urged him to provide “proof” he has been exonerated in a John Doe investigation of his former staffers. (Democrats are trying to make the case Walker is the target of the secret investigation; Walker has called those allegations “100-percent false.”)
“The Democrats are desperate,” Walker said. “They’ve got nothing else. We’ve answered this question a million different times, and they don’t want to talk about what this recall is really about.”
Walker was also asked about a series of liberal blogs that have been pushing a now-debunked rumor about his personal life while in college. “This is an example of how incredibly desperate the opposition is,” Walker said. “It is sickening… I think this will backfire, and I think there are a lot of Democrats across the state that will say that this is what is exactly what is fundamentally wrong about politics in America today.”
“They are so desperate, they can’t stand by their record, they cannot stand by the issues, they have to make crap up that is fundamentally untrue, and I think this is why it’s going to turn,” Walker said. He added that because of the types of personal attacks he is receiving, voters are “not only likely to see us win, they’re likely to see us win by a large margin, because I think voters have had it — they’re disgusted and they’re ready to move on.”
Walker will be back in the Madison region to tour a plastics plant on Monday morning before making stops in La Crosse, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, Green Bay, and Milwaukee.
— Christian Schneider is a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and writes the Yankee Review.