Race Between Walker and Barrett to Focus on Economy

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett are virtually tied in the polls as they dash toward the June 5th recall election.

They haven't wasted a second, continuously hurling attacks on each others' records.

Though the effort to recall Walker was based on his successful push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public workers, this race will likely focus on the economy.

After beating Barrett in the general election a year and a half ago, Gov. Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs in his four-year term. But earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics announced grim news for the state: Wisconsin had lost the most jobs in the nation in 2011.

Walker says he needs time for his policies to work, including keeping an incentive that reduces taxes for manufacturers. He's been critical of Barrett's record as mayor of Milwaukee.

"I think it's going to be hard for the mayor to defend his policies, which have moved Milwaukee backwards, and arguably would do the same thing they did in Milwaukee, would Milwaukee-ize Wisconsin, which I don't think anybody wants," Walker said Wednesday.

Barrett says the Governor's tax incentive for manufacturers has not been effective in creating jobs, and that Walker is attacking his record because he cannot defend his own.

"Of course he's attacking my record because he knows he cannot defend his record," Barrett said. "He knows the state of Wisconsin in 2011 under his leadership lost more jobs than any other state in the country.

Barrett says things have changed tremendously since 2010, that the state is divided and he'll be a leader to bring the state together.

Walker says his policies will continue to move Wisconsin forward.

Walker has agreed to two televised debates on May 25 and May 31. Barrett has agreed to four debates.

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