Reince Priebus is playing down talk of the Wisconsin recall vote as a harbinger of the presidential election, but predicted if Romney wins the state in November “it’s lights out” for President Barack Obama.
Appearing on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” the Republican National Committee chairman said he believes the party is “going to be in great shape in November” regardless of how the recall of Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker turns out.
Priebus — who also is a former Wisconsin Republican Party chair — said the recall for Republicans isn’t about looking ahead to November, but “a matter of protecting people of their word that run for office and govern like they campaign.”
Priebus said the reason Walker has become “the center of the political universe,” as Van Susteren put it, is because “people are starving for real authentic people to serve this country and be people of their word, and govern like they campaign.”
He added that the only reason Republicans “have to win this election in Wisconsin is that the very idea of courage is on the ballot.”
“So to me, and to people who are passionate about this race, that’s what this is about. It’s about Wisconsin and it’s about America,” Priebus continued, calling the election “not just a test case.”
“This is about the future,” he said.
Priebus stressed that conservative Republicans have been doing well in Wisconsin state races for several years anyway, and he called Democrats “foolish” for putting up Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in the 2010 election.
“He’s going to lose again,” Priebus said, adding the reason Republicans are so confident is because, “We know where the votes are. It’s a turnout election.”
The chairman said Democrats have been reluctant to support Barrett in a big way because they believe it’s a waste of money.
But if they lose, he said, “They’re not just going to enter into the election for November, they’re going to have a little circular firing squad and a blame game going on for a few weeks.”
“And I tell you, if Wisconsin goes red for Mitt Romney. It’s over. It’s lights out for Obama,” Priebus added.
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