Obama campaign dings Romney over Wisconsin statement, says he would cut firefighter and police jobs

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign released a new online video Monday criticizing Mitt Romney for his contention that the "message of Wisconsin" is that Americans can do with fewer teachers, police and firefighters.

The roughly 90-second attack debuts at a time when Obama is still taking heavy fire from Republicans for saying on Friday that the private sector of the economy was "doing fine" compared to cash-strapped state and local governments that have been laying off educators and emergency responders.

"Mitt Romney's economic plan? He wants to cut jobs for firefighters, police, and teachers," the Obama campaign says in the video.

It shows Romney assailing Obama's remarks on the economy. "He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers—did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did! It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people!"

The video then shows Massachusetts Democrats charging that Romney, as the state's governor, shortchanged state and local governments. And it features news headlines warning that the cuts drove teachers out of education and "weakened homeland security."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told CBS television's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that he agreed with Romney that government spending was not the answer to the current crisis. But Walker said his interpretation of the failed effort to recall him was "slightly different."

"I know in my state our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. That's not what I think of when I think of big government," Walker said. The Romney campaign immediately hit back at Obama, with spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg saying the president's "doing fine" comment "shows how out of touch he is with what's happening in America."

"Mitt Romney will do what President Obama hasn't—get the American economy back on the right track," Henneberg said.