Gov. Walker Officially Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign

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Gov. Walker Officially Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign

Premiere Date: 
April 18, 2014

The governor announced his campaign in stops across the state on April 15, tax day.

 

Episode Transcript: 

Scott Walker:

Today Rebecca and I are announcing our campaign for governor, lieutenant governor across the state.

Frederica Freyberg:

Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker officially launches his re-election campaign this week in a series of stops across Wisconsin with Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. I'm Frederica Freyberg. Tonight on "Here and Now," a look at that race for the state's top job and why it could be a campaign of numbers. Plus, we'll examine the campaign proposal to freeze tuition at the University of Wisconsin System for another two years. The Native American vote in Wisconsin could be more energized and organized than ever before. Matt Dannenberg of the League of Conservation Voters joins us to explain why. Also, it's time to pay up on those winter heating bills. We'll take a look at the unusual circumstances that are driving up prices. But first we begin this week with Scott Walker asking Wisconsin voters for another four years in the governor's seat. He has made it clear since surviving his June, 2012 recall election that he planned to seek a second term, and it comes at a time when there is talk of a potential presidential run. During the next 140 days, until the election, Wisconsin will see the campaign blitz, and as "Here and Now" Zac Schultz shows us, it's all going to come down to the numbers.

Scott Walker:

Today, I officially ask for your vote.

Zac Schultz:

Sporting blue jeans and a red badger shirt, Governor Scott Walker unveiled a casual look and a new slogan for his re-election campaign.

Scott Walker:

Wisconsin really is moving forward.

Zac Schultz:

It's been clear that Walker was running for a second term for a long time, but he made it official with the statewide tour on Tuesday, April 15, a date significant for taxpayers and members of the Tea Party.

Scott Walker:

Taxes are going down. How about that on a day like today? Taxes are going down.

[applause]

Zac Schultz:

Brian Schimming is the first vice-chair of the republican party of Wisconsin.

Brian Schimming:

Not a coincidence it's tax day. We're able to deliver almost a billion dollars in tax relief to the state during Governor Walker's term. So that's a big issue. Really, the election for us is about whether the state is going to go forward or backward. That's the theme for the day, and you'll see that as the theme for the campaign.

Zac Schultz:

Governor Walker's challenger in the race is democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive. She's critical of who will receive the bulk of Walker's tax cuts.

Mary Burke:

In terms of new businesses, we're near the bottom. Walker's game plan is failing. And to give out-of-state corporations tax breaks, and tax breaks to those at the top, and think that somehow that trickles down and creates jobs just isn't true.

Zac Schultz:

Burke was also the Secretary of Commerce under Governor Jim Doyle. And while Governor Walker didn't mention Mary Burke, he did remember her old boss.

Scott Walker:

Remember how things were four years ago here in the state of Wisconsin? Things had gotten pretty bad. Think about it. Four years ago at this point, we had more than 130,000 jobs that were being lost during Jim Doyle's last term in office.

Zac Schultz:

Speaking of jobs, Walker didn't mention that he's not even halfway to his original campaign promise to help create 250,000 jobs in his first four years.

Scott Walker:

Over 100,000 new jobs have been created since we've taken office. That's the most exciting news of the day.

Zac Schultz:

Schimming says the original pledge isn't relevant in this election.

Brian Schimming:

He said that, you know, that was a goal for him, but we've operated obviously in a very, very tough national economy that's still suffering.

Zac Schultz:

One other issue not mentioned in the rally is Walker's interest in running for president in 2016, with a presidential primary season that would start next year. When asked publicly, Walker would not commit to serving out a full four-year term. Schimming doesn't think that will bother voters.

Brian Schimming:

The governor is completely focused on his job and on this campaign, so I'm not worried about that at all.

Zac Schultz:

Because of the recall, this will be governor Walker's third election in four years, meaning he's no stranger to the campaign trail.

Scott Walker:

Over the last few years, we had to make some tough decisions, right? But the good news is they paid off. They've paid off, and today because of the positive results of those tough decisions in the last few years, Wisconsin is that much better because of it, and we're going to be even better going forward.


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