Mitt Romney’s senior adviser, Ed Gillespie, insists in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s historic victory this week proves that Americans favor a “center-right approach to government” over President Barack Obama’s “big government agenda.”
In an interview on Wednesday, the Republican political strategist and former White House counselor, also said that the typically Democratic state of Wisconsin is still “in play” for the Republican in the November election.
“I think it shows that the American people — and the people of Wisconsin — still favor a center-right approach to government and reject the big government agenda of the labor unions, and of the Democrats in the state of Wisconsin — and of President Obama and his administration,” said Gillespie.
“The results from yesterday will have a reverberating effect around the country, and I think they reflect the views of the American people — not only Wisconsinites but a majority of Americans.”
Gillespie, the first chairman of the Republican National Committee to preside over a clean sweep of the White House and both houses of Congress, said that Republicans have come close to taking the state in presidential elections of the past.
“I don’t think that we can put Wisconsin in the lean Republican column but we can certainly put it in the contested state column today,” he explained. “And the victory on the ground for Gov. Walker was an important one yesterday in terms of the implications for November.”
In assessing the Great Lakes region, Gillespie noted that Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania — states that Obama carried in 2008 — are likely to be heavily challenged by Republicans this time around.
“Wisconsin is a reflection of that drift away from big-government liberal policies in the Great Lakes toward fiscal responsibility, and getting control of federal spending, and encouraging job creation, and free enterprise in the states,” he said. “We’re seeing that across the Great Lakes with Republican governors, but I think that those voters would like to see that across the country with a Republican president.”
Their defeat in Wisconsin notwithstanding, Gillespie also believes that organized labor will be a factor in November. “They’ll be a force and they’ll spend a ton of money just like they did in Wisconsin,” he predicted.
“They have the advantage of compulsory union dues taken directly from people’s paychecks, spent against candidates that many of those union members support — public employee unions in particular, who have been an increasing share of union membership in this country as the private sector union roles have declined, will be very active in this presidential campaign,” Gillespie warned. “You can count on that.”
See the exclusive excerpt of the Newsmax interview with Ed Gillespie:
Gillespie views younger Americans — aged 18-34 as the biggest potential group of Republican voters that have yet to be tapped.
“A lot of these younger voters understand that the hope and change that they bought into in 2008 has not materialized in terms of improving their chances for advancing in the job market, getting a job at all, having wages go up because of the stagnant economy that we’re facing as a result of President Obama’s policies,” Gillespie reasoned. “I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities for growth compared to 2008 for Gov. Romney in 2012.”
Describing Romney’s wife Ann as a “huge asset” on the campaign trail, Gillespie noted a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed a 13 percent boost in popularity for Romney among women as compared to Obama’s 7 percent decline in favorability among women though the president still maintains a decided advantage.
“The fact is women voters are going to cast votes in this election along with the broader electorate in terms of their concerns,” he said. “Their concerns are about jobs. Their concerns are about you know their own jobs — their spouses jobs, job opportunities for their children, who are being graduated from high school or college — and understanding that right now they face a very difficult environment because of the president’s policies.”
Gillespie added that both Democrats and Republicans have each struggled with gender gaps over the past 30 years — Democrats among male voters, and Republicans with females.
“The question is how big is that gap and I believe that you’re going to see that gap narrow even further between now and November for Gov. Romney,” he said, adding that women, like men, will look at the issues that are most important to their quality of life and to the future of the U.S.
In the case of women that may include healthcare and education. “They understand that according to estimates, up to 20 million Americans who like the insurance they have are at risk of losing the insurance they have under Obamacare despite the promises,” he said. “They see that premiums are continuing to rise despite the promise that that would not happen under Obamacare.”
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