Romney Reacts To Wisconsin Recall Vote

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – Mitt Romney praised Gov. Scott Walker's win in Wisconsin's recall election, describing Tuesday night's results as a victory for the GOP nationwide.

"Tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses," Romney said in a statement.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee also called Walker to personally offer his congratulations over the phone Tuesday night, according to a Romney campaign official.

Walker beat back a recall challenge after he signed into law a controversial bill last year to curb collective bargaining rights for most public employees, resulting in mass protests and political backlash.

In Romney's statement, he said the election marked a turning point in the ideological war over spending.

"Tonight voters said 'no' to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and 'yes' to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans," he said.

The election was also underlined with political implications for the presidential race, as the highly-charged fight raised questions over whether Wisconsin would remain a traditionally blue state this November.

While other high profile Democrats traveled to Wisconsin to campaign on Barrett's behalf, President Barack Obama largely stayed out of the recall contest, most visibly affirming his support in a Monday evening tweet.

Obama's campaign, however, released a statement late Tuesday night, calling the results disappointing but applauding the Democratic-led effort to challenge the governor.

"While tonight's outcome was not what we had hoped for – no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money spent on behalf of Scott Walker," said the campaign's Wisconsin director, Tripp Wellde.

Wellde pointed to polling data that showed the president faring better than Romney among Wisconsin voters when asked about the general election on Tuesday. According to CNN exit polls, Obama would have carried the state with 54% to GOP candidate Mitt Romney's 42%.

"These data points clearly demonstrate a very steep pathway for Mitt Romney to recover in the state," he said.

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.


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