Mary Burke is the Wisconsin Democrat standing in the way of Scott Walker’s re-re-election. Her campaign’s official opening salvo was a television ad that was promptly harpooned as “pants on fire” false by left-leaning Politifact. The spot claimed that Wisconsin’s unemployment “is up” on Walker’s watch. Wrong. Team Walker fired back with an ad of their own:
When challenged over her flatly inaccurate commercial during a roundtable discussion, Burke asserted that she harbors no regrets over lying to voters right out of the gate. In a follow-up answer, though, she acknowledged that unemployment is in fact lower today than it was when Walker assumed office:
Democrats are objecting that this GOP-produced video was clipped to make her look as dishonest as possible and edited out the fuller context. Context is always important, but the following facts are undeniable: (1) Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped during Scott Walker’s time in office. (2) Mary Burke’s first on-air ad claimed that unemployment is “up” under Walker. (3) Mary Burke does not regret running that ad. QED. She has no qualms about grossly misleading voters. By the way, the Badger State’s jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in January, down from 7.8 percent when Walker took office. Here’s another feel-good employment data point:
Wisconsin National Guard announces unemployment rate among returning vets at 5.1%, down from 10.1% 2 yrs ago. pic.twitter.com/16PbMOzNgc
— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) March 19, 2014
I eagerly await Mary Burke’s next TV ad, lamenting Walker’s terrible record on putting returning veterans back to work. Thanks to Walker’s successful budget reforms, increased hiring, and improved revenues (absent any tax increases), the state now enjoys a $1 billion surplus. Walker inherited a multi-billion-dollar structural deficit. Wisconsin Republicans recently passed sweeping tax relief package that returns much of that unexpected windfall to the state’s taxpayers. Ninety-five percent of Wisconsin’s business owners now say they’re optimistic about the future, up 85 percentage points from the previous administration’s lows. Running against Walker’s job performance is proving challenging for Democrats, as evidenced by this latest screw-up:
“With such a lack of enthusiasm at home, it comes as no surprise that Scott Walker is taking his ‘Abandoning Wisconsin Families’ tour on the road to New Hampshire today to court Tea Party support for his presidential ambitions,” said the Democratic Party’s press statement. That was followed by this tweet: “As Wisconsin rejects him, Scott Walker flees to New Hampshire.” Only the governor did no such thing. Many top Republicans gathered for the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H. Walker even tied for third in a survey of conference attendees on their top 2016 presidential pick. But Walker didn’t escape, flee or even fly to the New Hampshire conference this past weekend. News reports show that on Friday — the first day of the conference — Walker was in Mosinee to promote a program that helps disabled people get back to work. On Sunday, he was busy in Mishicot as keynote speaker of the Lincoln Day Lunch hosted by the Republican Party of Manitowoc County. In between, Walker was tweeting about his haircut on Saturday…Melissa Baldauff, spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party, acknowledged the error while still placing the blame on Walker. “We heard reporting on MSNBC last week that Walker was on the agenda,” Baldauff said of the Nashau event.
So Wisconsin Democrats attacked Walker for “fleeing” to New Hampshire over the weekend, when he was actually in Wisconsin promoting a program that helps disabled people find jobs. Oops. Rather than just apologize for their own sloppiness, they blamed it on Walker, and cited the source of their inaccurate information: MSNBC — the very network that egged them into a costly recall effort against Walker, which failed decisively. Well played all around, guys.