Scott Walker: GOP can't win referendum on Obama
(CBS News) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who survived last week's recall election, said presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney won't beat President Obama unless he offers "bold" ideas.
"I don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on Barack Obama," Walker said on "Face the Nation." "I think people like [Wisconsin Rep.] Paul Ryan and others hope that he goes big and bold." Walker said, referring to Romney.
Walker also offered advice for Romney, saying that "Governor Romney has a shot if the 'R' doesn't stand for Republican, but reformer," Walker said.
However, the Wisconsin governor disagreed with a recent statement made by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney that Wisconsin voters opposed to "big government" reject the hiring of more teachers, police officers and firefighters.
"I know in my state our reform allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers; that's not what I think when I think of big government," said Walker on "Face the Nation."Walker was responding to a statement Romney made on Friday, in which the GOP presidential challenger said President Obama "wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?"
Romney's statement came after the president - responding to the rise in the nation's unemployment figures for May - said that public sector workers were particularly hit hard due to job losses from state budget cuts compared to job gains seen in the private sector.
"I think in the end a big issue is that the private sector still needs more help. The answer is not more big government," Walker said.
"The president and his allies believe success in government is defined by how many people are dependent on government programs," Walker said. Republicans "believe that success [is] just the opposite. How many fewer people are dependent on government programs because they have a job in the private sector where they can control their own freedom?"
The Republican governor had faced a recall election after cutting some public sector workers' pensions and eliminating collective bargaining rights for most public workers' unions.
After a contentious and expensive campaign, Walker defeated his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
When host Bob Schieffer pressed Walker about Romney's statement, asking if he agreed with the former Mass. governor about the message of the Wisconsin recall results, he replied, "Well, I think it's slightly different. In our case what they wanted [was] people to take on the tough issues."
- Leigh Ann Caldwell
Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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