The Obama campaign and Washington Democrats appeared unwilling Wednesday to walk away from their failed effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker, even after their candidate suggested everyone move forward.
“While the results of the governor's race were not what we had hoped for, we were still able to overcome great challenges to ensure the voices of middle-class families were heard,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
“Over the past year, Wisconsin Democrats have taken on the immense challenge of … fighting against government overreach and ensuring voters have a say about the future of the state,” she said.
The failed recall effort was led by Democrats who though Walker and Republicans in the state legislature rolled back what they considered excesses in the collective bargaining agreements of public-employee unions -- an effort to cut Wisconsin’s estimated $3.6 billion budget shortfall.
Democratic challenger Tom Barrett’s said Tuesday night, “the state remains divided, but at the end of the day” residents must come together.
Schultz attributed the loss in part to national groups supporting the Walker’s agenda.
“Despite a massive influx of outside money that poured into Wisconsin, Tom Barrett and the thousands of volunteers on the ground carried out an impressive battle against a more than $31 million to $4 million spending gap,” she said in a statement. “We are coming out of this effort with a stronger Democratic organization and more engaged supporters and volunteers.”
Arguing that Democrats still have a foothold on Wisconsin, which Obama won in 2008, Schultz said polls before Tuesday’s recall election showed Obama leader GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
She said exit polling shows the president leading Romney 52 percent to 43 percent.
Her remarks were followed a letter from Obama Campaign manager Jim Messina to supporters.
“Yesterday, a terrifying experiment played out in Wisconsin,” he wrote. “Republican Governor Scott Walker, one of the least popular governors in the country, managed to hold on against challenger Tom Barrett in the statewide recall election.”
He also said the Democratic loss was in part the result of outside money.
“This kind of corporate and special-interest spending is exactly what we could be up against this fall,” Messina wrote.