GREEN BAY — Gov. Scott Walker says a 2011 video that shows him discussing a "divide and conquer" strategy toward taking on unions was about taking on special interests and protecting taxpayers.
Walker was asked about the comment during a news conference Friday at the Wisconsin Republican Party's annual convention in Green Bay
“It's 15 months ago and I don't remember all the particulars of that,” said Walker. “It was a Rock County 5.0 group that has been helping Beloit, Janesville and others out there, but I can tell you unequivocally now, I have no interest in pursuing right to work legislation in this state.”
The video clip of the controversial conversation is part of a documentary. It was released Thursday night.
Walker says the conversation with Republican donor Diane Hendricks was particularly about government unions.
“Time and time again they stood in the way of reasonable changes that could be made to allow local governments, school districts, cities, towns, counties and other local governments as well as state governments from making reasonable adjustments to balance budgets and still protect core services,” said Walker.
“I was flabbergasted at his language,” said Tom Barrett, Walker’s democratic challenger in the June 5th recall election. “I think for the people of this state, if you want to know when Scott Walker is really telling the truth, it is when he is talking to billionaires.”
Since the video was shot, Hendricks has donated $510,000 to Walker.
A reporter asked Walker, “shouldn't the governor unite the state rather than divide, what you are talking?”
Walker’s response was, “it's not at all about the state. It's about standing up and saying I'm drawing a line in the sand and saying I'm going to put the government firmly on the side of the taxpayer again.”
Walker's strategy for Wisconsin will be put to the test on June 5th, the day of the general recall election.
The filmmaker of the documentary where the clip came from has worked on Democratic campaigns in the past. He also has donated to Barrett's campaign.
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