Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told The Daily Caller that Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall election will “embolden” other governors to take on public sector unions.
“I don’t know whether the president’s involvement would have been more helpful. I’m not controlling the president’s schedule,” Jackson told TheDC on Capitol Hill after advocating for raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour.
“Suffice it to say what mattered was how the people of Wisconsin saw the franchise and how they saw their vote. Clearly, Mr. Walker’s victory will embolden other governors around the country to begin taking measures challenging public sector unions, which is of profound concern to me.”
Jackson said he is “discouraged” by the turnout for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in rural areas of Wisconsin.
“We have a lot of work to do, clearly. I was encouraged by the turnout in Milwaukee, discouraged by the vote in rural communities from my perspective of many Wisconsin voters who voted against their own economic interests,” Jackson said.
“Labor overwhelmingly won in the urban area but its struggle in the rural area, I believe, was wanting and so 38 percent, almost split the vote, my reading on the vote tallies, almost split it evenly, 38 percent voted for Barrett and the recall in rural communities and a significant number voted for Mr. Walker in rural communities and that speaks volumes about the state of organized labor.” (SEE ALSO: Ralph Nader: Obama ‘abandoned’ Wisconsin)
When asked if he personally thinks Obama should have been more involvement in the recall election, Jackson responded, “I don’t have a personal opinion on that matter. The president has to exercise his own judgment on the campaigns that he chooses to engage.”