Statement on President’s Visit to Wisconsin

The following statement was release today by Brian Sikma, communications director for Media Trackers, as President Obama visits Milwaukee.

“President Obama’s visit to Wisconsin today is defined by uncertainty and tension. As the President seeks to focus on his message of expanding domestic manufacturing jobs, he will do so in a city that has a near 50% unemployment rate among African American males, in a state where labor unions and the Democratic party are at odds with each other over the President’s presence here and the recall effort aimed at Republican Governor Scott Walker.

“The Obama campaign made Wisconsin one of the handful of states where they launched their first television ad of the 2012 cycle. Wisconsin is a state the Obama team carried in 2008, and it is a state they want to carry this year. But the recall effort aimed at Governor Walker complicates their strategy. Wisconsin Democrats and labor leaders are, according to this morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, split in their opinion of whether or not the President should actively participate in the Wisconsin recall campaign.

“When President Obama took office his first move was to spend more taxpayer dollars. When Governor Walker took office his first move was to find ways to save taxpayer money. The differences between the two executives could not be starker, but Democrats and labor leaders in Wisconsin are split over how to exploit those differences. That divide, and recent attacks on Milwaukee Democrat elected officials by African American community leaders frustrated by the near 50% unemployment rate of African American males, signals a fracture in the traditionally powerful Wisconsin Democrat coalition of minorities and labor.”

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