WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suggested on Thursday morning that Mitt Romney needs to do a more compelling job selling his ideas to the electorate if he hopes to win in potential swing states such as Wisconsin.
Walker, a rising star in the Republican Party who last week won a recall election, said that Romney could win in Wisconsin. But Walker said Romney has to go beyond criticizing President Obama and has to be seen as a “reformer.”
Walker compared the 2012 election to 1980, when Ronald Reagan effectively cast Jimmy Carter as out of touch and unable to handle the economy. During that election, Walker said, voters grew familiar with both pithy lines as well as the deeper policies that Reagan wanted to implement.
“I don’t know if voters are there yet with Governor Romney,” Walker said at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “It doesn’t mean he hasn’t talked about it, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about it. But I think you’ve got [to have] a simple message of not only why we need to replace the current occupant of the White House, but also why he would be better.”
The comments built upon those that Walker made on Sunday, when he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he hoped Romney would go “big and bold” in his proposals.
The last time Wisconsin voted for a Republican for president was in 1984, but Walker’s victory last week has given Republicans new hope that they could compete in a state that Obama won by 14 points in 2008.
Exit polls taken during last week’s election showedObama with a six point lead over Romney among Wisconsin voters. Romney plans to travel to the state on Monday as part of his six-state bus tour.