RNC Chairman Reince Priebus predicted that Badger State voters will not forget that President Barack Obama “left Democrats at the altar in Wisconsin when they needed him the most.”
Appearing on CNN minutes after the Wisconsin polls closed, Priebus told host Wolf Blitzer that Tuesday’s recall election between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett could have national implications.
“We’re here because of big unions and people around the country care about this state because what happens tonight could have an impact on whether we win Wisconsin or not in November,” he said. “I think that’s what you’re seeing around the country.”
Priebus joked that there would likely be a “circular firing squad” among Wisconsin Democrats on Wednesday if the Republican emerged victorious from Tuesday’s recall election as he eventually did based on network projections.
“President Obama is going to come in here in two months and he’s going to say, ‘hey guys remember me. You have to get me elected now president.’ And these Democrats are going to look at this president and say, ‘hey thanks a lot pal. We appreciated the help when we needed you most,’” according to Priebus. “I think that’s a dynamic that you can’t measure today Wolf but you’ll be able to measure it in a couple of months.”
Priebus, a native of the state, was also optimistic that a superior Republican ground game will even the odds for GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the traditionally Democratic state.
“For a long time it’s been a light blue state that can go red under the right circumstances. But I think we’ve consistently shown over the last couple of years that in tough battles Republicans can win here,” he said.
Priebus dismissed Walker’s advantage in outside funding, which CNN estimated at 6 to 10 times greater than Barrett’s.
“I think that the unions are spending a whole lot of money too that you don’t see yet,” he explained, citing involvement from organized labor like the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
“I don’t think anyone doubts the fact that we wouldn’t be standing here tonight if it wasn’t for big public employee unions that paid for door walkers to get petitions and start this whole mess,” Priebus added.
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