WILLIAMSBURG, VA—Battle-tested Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered some advice Saturday to Mitt Romney: Forget all that Bain stuff, and campaign as a reform-minded fiscal crusader.
“For him to do well, the R next to his name has to stand for more than just for Republican, it has to stand for reformer,” Walker said during a meeting of the National Governors Association here. “We got significant swing votes, independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me … because they like someone who’s willing to take on the tough issues facing our state. I think those are the same sorts of voters that Gov. Romney at least has a shot with.”
Walker provoked a furious backlash after he made deep cuts to his state’s budget and sharply curbed collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. He survived a recall election last month.
While the news cycle has been dominated by the Obama campaign’s aggressive claims that Bain Capital invested in firms that outsourced jobs while Romney was at its helm, Walker said voters have other more pressing concerns. He suggested more clarity from the Romney campaign about how he would curb spending and the national debt would resonate with Wisconsin voters.
“I think they don’t see a lot right now. I think they need to see more of him, they need to hear more of that,” Walker said. “What he needs to be most aggressive about is point out the fact that the president doesn’t have a record to run on.”
Walker said he is delaying a decision on whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act because he’s counting on Romney winning the White House and rolling back the law. "Our focus is on repealing Obamacare by putting in place a new president, a new majority in the United States Senate," Walker said. "We’re not going to make any decisions on that until after the election."
The Supreme Court last month ruled that governors could decline to participate in a huge Medicaid expansion in the law without losing the federal money they currently receive for Medicaid.