Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t think Mitt Romney got the “message of Wisconsin,” either.
Specifically, when host Bob Schieffer asked him to respond to a comment Romney made on Friday about wanting to “cut back” on government workers, including firefighters, police officers and teachers, Walker backed away.
“The big issue is that the private sector still needs more help,” Walker said. “The answer’s not more big government. I know in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. That’s not what I think of when I think of big government.”
On Friday, Romney followed up a Barack Obama gaffe with a gaffe of his own. Romney was responding to comments Obama made about how the private sector was “doing fine,” but he hit some sensitive public-sector professions in his comment.
“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
The Obama campaign pounced on that remark. So Schieffer asked Walker if the message really was that “the American people want fewer cops and fewer firemen and fewer teachers.”
“Well, I think it’s slightly different,” Walker said. “”I think in our case what they wanted is people willing to take on the tough issues — not only here in Wisconsin, but across the country. And I think Gov. Romney’s got a shot if the ‘R’ next to his name doesn’t just stand for Republican — it stands for reformer.”
Walker’s bill would strip state and local government employees, including teachers, custodians and game wardens, of their ability to collectively bargain everything except their wages.
But the measure carves out a special exemption for local police officers, firefighters and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
“Currently, we’ve had a long tradition and when it comes to fire and police service in the state of Wisconsin. Statutes are very different when it comes to whole series of rights and responsibilities,” Walker said.
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