Former President Bill Clinton addressed a crowd in Milwaukee on Friday, campaigning for Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett in the state’s gubernatorial recall, and castigating Republican Gov. Scott Walker for stirring up conflict that Clinton said was holding back the state’s economic recovery.
Clinton also made an oblique reference to a recently revealed videotape from January last year, in which Walker told a wealthy donor — who wanted right-to-work legislation — that he would “divide and conquer,” starting with his upcoming legislation against public employee unions.
“And this is what I want to say to you. This is about what’s best for you, and your kids, and your future — but it’s also about America,” said Clinton. “You know, for a hundred years now, people have looked to Wisconsin from all over this country, to see a place of small towns and vibrant cities; to see a place of farmers and factory workers and small business people; to see a place where there were vigorous political debates, closely held elections — and then people got together and figured out what the heck to do.
“And now they look at Wisconsin, and they see America’s battleground between people who want to work together to solve problems, and people who want to divide and conquer — people who know that creative cooperation is working in America, and people who want constant conflict.
“And here’s what I want to tell you. Tom was kind enough to say this in his introduction — I think I know a little bit about what would bring America back, what would bring economic recovery, what would enable us to have broadly shared prosperity. And I’ll tell you, if you go anywhere in America today, believe it or not, there are a lot of places that are already back. And they all have one thing in common. They’re dramatically different, but they all have one thing in common: They are involved in creative cooperation, not constant conflict.”
Although Walker has been ahead in the polls, Barrett is getting a late boost from big-name Democrats. In addition to Clinton, he also held events this week with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic Governors Association Chairman Martin O’Malley.
The recall election is this Tuesday, June 5.