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Romney and Santorum Robocall Wisconsin Voters

4:35 PM, Mar 26, 2012 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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The next major test for Republican presidential candidates is April 3 in Wisconsin, where GOP voters are not accustomed to having much of a voice in the presidential primary process. But even with Wisconsin looking like an important state – in some ways maybe a decisive one – voters there are more concerned about local politics than the presidential election.

The reason: Governor Scott Walker, who is immensely popular among the state’s Republicans, is up for recall in early June. Walker’s reforms to the state budget process, particularly the elimination of most collective bargaining for public employees, has made him a top target of public employee unions, who are bankrolling an effort to unseat him for doing, in effect, what he promised to do when he ran. Their job has been made more difficult because Walker’s reforms have worked. (Go to the many websites pushing for defeat of Walker and you’ll find precious little analysis of the actual impact of the reforms, the ostensible reason for the recall, but plenty about voter ID laws and an investigation targeting some former Walker employees.)

Mitt Romney’s campaign, hoping to capitalize on this dynamic, is embracing Walker in robocalls to Republicans around the state and portraying Rick Santorum as a an ally of big labor. A man who identifies himself as “Tim” from the Romney campaign gets right to the point. (Listen here.)

“As you know, the fight against Big Labor, led by Governor Walker, isn’t over here in Wisconsin. I wouldn’t normally make these calls but I was shocked to find out that Rick Santorum repeatedly supported Big Labor and joined with liberal Democrats in voting against Right to Work legislation during his time in Washington. He even opposed the hiring of permanent replacements for striking workers. When it comes to Big Labor, Rick Santorum’s record of opposing Right to Work legislation and standing with union bosses speaks for itself. Thank you for listening to my concerns about Rick Santorum. This call is paid for by Romney for President Incorporated at 608-535-9307.”

Santorum, who praised Walker in speeches in Wisconsin over the weekend, is also calling voters. His message emphasizes national issues, beginning with Obamacare and ending with an emphatic mention of his credentials as a social conservative. (Listen here.)

“Hi, This is Rick Santorum and I’m sorry I missed you. This year we have a chance to nominate a true conservative who will present a bold contrast to defeat Barack Obama. And I’m that candidate and I’m asking for your vote and your help. We need to repeal Obamacare, not nominate someone who wrote the blueprint for it. We need to end crony capitalism, not nominate someone who supported the Wall Street bailouts. And we desperately need someone who can speak from the heart on the issues of faith, family and freedom. This is Rick Santorum, I’m that candidate, and I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you.”

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