As Democrats try to play down the national implications of Tuesday's recall race in Wisconsin, Republicans, like Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, are highlighting the parallels between that race and the national presidential election.
Speaking on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, McDonnell said that the race pitting Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is just like the one between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this fall.
"It's going to be the same thing with Romney and Obama. As you put policies in place, were they controversial? Sure. Does it take guts and leadership to tell people we can't afford to do these things anymore and we need a change to be more competitive in Wisconsin? Sure. But he's done it. And now he's getting the results. And that's why he's going to win," McDonnell said.
McDonnell spoke on State of the Union immediately after Barrett, who downplayed the national implications of the election, falling in lockstep with other national Democratic voices, like DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who have been trying to keep the close race contained to Wisconsin. The push to distance Wisconsin from the national presidential race has some wondering whether Democrats are preparing for the fallout of a possible Democratic loss.
McDonnell wandered slightly off script with a concession that Obama's stimulus measures helped Virginia weather the economic crisis, which is now doing better than the national average.
“Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure,” McDonnell said. “Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no.”
While there are "national policies that have had some impact," McDonnell chalks his state's success up to his leadership as a Republican governor.
"I think that there's something going on with Republican-governed states. Seven out of the 10 states ... nationwide, that have the lowest unemployment rates: Republican-governed states," he said.