Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate says Governor Scott Walker is abandoning his current job as he campaigns for his next job and, he says, Walker’s denials about a potential bid for the White House is insulting.
“You know, look, I think that it is insulting to the average person’s intelligence for Scott Walker to pretend he’s not running for president. He’s traveling around the country; he’s spending time in early states like Iowa and South Carolina; he’s writing a book.”
Walker downplays speculation about a presidential bid in 2016, saying he’s focused on being governor — a job people elected him to do “not once, but twice.” That’s a reference to surviving a recall election.
Walker tells the crowd in Iowa Thursday night, “I think we need to be more optimistic,” he said. “I think we need to speak in terms that are more relevant and I think we need to be more courageous.”
Tate calls Walker’s high-profile speaking engagements “purely irresponsible” at a time when Wisconsin’s economy is hurting so badly. “His flagship agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, is the cornerstone of his promise to create 250,000 jobs, but it’s rife with scandal and mismanagement. Rather than rolling up his sleeves and getting to work and addressing the problem, he’s off traipsing around the country.”
The most current federal jobs numbers show Wisconsin ranks 44th in the nation in job creation, which Tate points out is down from 11th when Walker took office. Tate says the more time Walker spends outside Wisconsin abdicating his responsibility just makes him more vulnerable to being beaten in the next gubernatorial election.
Walker was invited by Iowa’s governor to speak to party activists. Walker had said, “It’s an easy trip. I can still put a good day’s work in and get over to Iowa.”
The Democrats currently have no one in mind to run for governor in 2014 to challenge Walker, but Tate is confident they’ll have a great candidate, he says, whether it’s someone who is an elected official or someone working in the private sector creating jobs.