Paul Ryan On Wisconsin Recall: “A Momentum-Maker For Either Side”

House budget chief and veepstakes entrant addresses the other big election this year. Describes Wisconsin as “polarized.”

Steven Senne / AP

Paul Ryan in Waukesha, Wisconsin on April 3rd.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday morning that the recall election in his home state is nearly as important as the presidential election this year.

“It’s the second most important election this year, next to the presidential election,” Ryan said.

“It’s a momentum-maker for either side,” Ryan told some 20 editors and reporters at a gathering hosted by Bloomberg View in Manhattan. “If we win it gives us momentum, if the other side wins it gives tem momentum.”

“Boy, I tell you, it’s so polarized in Wisconsin.”

The recall that will decide Governor Scott Walker’s fate after he pushed through a bill effectively ending collective bargaining rights for public sector workers is the hottest topic in the Wisconsin political world this year, as both sides pour money into the effort and Democrats fight over who will face Walker. Ryan said the implications, if Walker loses his seat, would set a national precedent.

“It will be a chilling effect on reforms,” he said. “What governor is going to
taken on these entrenched interest groups if this is what happens to them?”

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