The news that Mitt Romney is reportedly irked by Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) cheerleading for the state economy while the national Republican Party tries to portray President Obama’s America as a nightmarish depression should come as no shock to Scott Walker. The Republican governor, who has also touted job growth in Wisconsin, warned last week at a breakfast with reporters that the uptick in some swing-state economies could be a serious obstacle to defeating the president.
“Just on a surface level, obviously voters feel better if the economy is better,” Walker said. Voters don’t often attribute the credit to those who “deserve” it, he added. In Walker’s case, he believes Republican governors are to thank for better-than-average numbers in a variety of key states, but that can be a tough message to sell in a presidential election.
“If you look at not only Wisconsin, but a number of key swing states, there’s Republican governors in those states who have put in place aggressive policies that have helped turn the economy around,” he said. “And so, oddity of oddities, one of the beneficiaries of that might be the president.”
The Los Angeles Times noted recently that Walker, who aggressively claimed credit for recent job gains in Wisconsin after relatively sluggish growth earlier in his term, notably left out his usual talk of the state’s economic strength in a joint appearance with Romney earlier this week.
A spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican Party, Ben Sparks, said that Romney’s camp had not asked Walker to downplay job growth. Romney’s campaign has denied that they pressured Scott as well.
“Governor Romney offered nothing but praise of Governor Walker’s strong record and bold leadership throughout Wisconsin, despite President Obama’s failed economic policies that have led to sky-high unemployment throughout the country,” Sparks told TPM in an e-mail. “President Obama has made it clear he’s not willing to make the bold decisions necessary to turn our nation’s economy around, and Governor Romney will bring the innovative leadership to the White House that is yielding these positive results on the state level.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.