Even though the general election in Wisconsin’s race for governor is still months away, the campaigns of both incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker and likely Democratic challenger Mary Burke are already shifting into high gear. Both campaigns have been out with ads that spar over the issue of outsourcing jobs and Burke’s role at Trek Bicycle, the family-owned company started by her father.
Walker’s campaign has run two ads in the past week that argue Burke, who worked as an executive at Trek, has personally benefitted from the company’s decision to outsource jobs overseas. Burke and the head of Trek, her brother, have maintained she had no role in those decisions and have criticized Walker for attacking a company that employs a thousand workers in Wisconsin.
Speaking with reporters in Madison Wednesday, Walker stood by the decision to go after Burke on the outsourcing issue and her role at Trek. The governor says voters deserve to know both sides of the issue, since Burke has campaigned on her experience at Trek as a reason to support her candidacy. Walker said “you can’t have it both ways if you’re Mary Burke. You can’t say like me for the things you like about this company, but ignore the other things that are out there.”
AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (:45)
Walker also noted that Burke’s own campaign ads made outsourcing an issue before he brought it up, by trying to link him to state tax credits that were given by his administration to companies that outsourced job. “She started out with the argument. She made the case about this several weeks ago. We’re pointing out the hypocrisy out of that.”
Walker says he’s running on his record, but claims Burke is trying to run from hers.