tv The Ed Show MSNBC June 5, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
our current politics, even the obvious things in it that don't work for today. sanford levinson, professor of law and government at university of texas, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you for very me. "the ed show" is up next. special live edition of "the ed show" from wisconsin. good iefgs evening, live from wisconsin. nbc news declares walker winner in the recall election over milwaukee tom barrett and they declare rebecca kleefisch the winner. tom barrett, the mayor of milwaukee, says he will not concede. his campaign says there's ongoing voting in milwaukee, the
barrett campaign was outspend 7.5-1. about two-thirds of governor scott walker's donations are from out of state compared to about one-fourth for tom barrett. this is not going to be an easy night for many broadcasters who are liberal. this is not going to be an easy night for this broadcaster, to say that i'm shocked and stunned is pretty much an understatement. but i also think that as a real warning to americans, that money is now infiltrated into our political system like we have never seen before. and the ruling by citizens united is now a real message to every american. it is going to take an insurmountable amount of effort on the ground for the progressive move. and the democrats to do what they need to do in 2012. and this is also a real message to local politics that this
money will filter down and citizen united will affect federal and state elections over time. this is not a good night for labor unions. this is not a good night for wage earners or the democratic party. it's a tough one to take but it's about being in the fight. it's about believing what you believe in. and sticking to your guns and not giving up. there's no shame. there's no embarrassment in the way this has been played out in wisconsin. it is been a long, hard fight for the people of wisconsin, to try to change their government. and give credit to scott walker. he did what he had to do. by the rules, he went out and raised a hell of a lot of money with people with corporate interests and brought it to wisconsin and won a recall election. he's the only governor to survive a recall election in the history of the united states. the recall was successful in 1921 in north dakota. it was successful in 2003 in
california. and it was unsuck sets are saysful here tonight in wisconsin. i'm joined by johnny kols, washington correspondent for "the nation" magazine and author of the book "uprising." and we have political editor for "progressive" magazine. this is one for the archives. ruth, your impressions? all the exit polling did not match up the final result. >> yeah. i mean, i agree with you. this is a tough night for us. we walked out of the studio after doing the show earlier and we saw the protest movement around the capital. we saw the firefighters with their bagpipes. we saw all of our teachers out. we saw cars driving by with their "recall walker" signs and the mood in the air was jueuphoc so to sit for the next hour and see the reports coming in was tough to take. it's hard. we flew western going to be outgunned. we knew we were going to be outspent, 10-1.
taking a flyer on democracy in wisconsin and just going to come out as the people, without being led from above. just coming out from below and we were going to take on this tidal wave of money washing over our politics. and i think, we just have to pick ourselves up. this is our state. we live here. i have a little girl starting kindergarten in the fall. we're not giving up on our teachers and community. we're going to fight on. >> well, i'm sure scott walker and the republicans aren't going to be giving up either. they're going to take this as a real message that they claim their reforms are working which are certainly cuts. john nickels. mayor barrett says lease not going to concede because there's still voting going on. break that down, what $that mean? >> first off, it would be immoral to concede when people are still voting. you don't tell people, oh, walk
away from the polls. but more than that, i think tom barrett has a reason to, at least, wait to see where this thing is. there's 72% of the vote in milwaukee county, still out. there's the majority of the vote still out. a lot in lacrosse and steven's point, anybody from wisconsin will tell you these are the democratic towns. so there's a lot of democratic wisconsin not reporting, where there's an overwhelming portion of republican wisconsin reporting. >> are you saying that you think there's a chance that maybe this projection could be wrong? >> i wish i could tell you that, i really do, because i think so many people would love to hear that. what i'm telling you is -- there's so much of democratic wisconsin out at this point, that this will, in fact, be a close election. it will be much more like what the exit poll told us. but we cannot dechina that when i look along the western tier of
the state, there are counties that, frankly, if tom barrett was going to win he should have won. he didn't win so my bottom line is that i think it's probably scott walker win. and it's not a scott walker 57 did she 57-43 win. much closer to 51 or 52. >> from both of you, john first, what does this mean? citizens united. what ground game will it take to defeat the millions of dollars floating into elections all over america? >> i think it's really important to recognize that what happened in wisconsin was an experiment in the laboratory of democracy. this experiment, the part of both sides, is going to have us define where we go. the republicans went with big money, massive infusions of money. it's a powerful lesson for every state in this country. when you bring that much money in, you can repurpose a failed governor as a credible candidate. that's what they did with scott walker.
for the labor unions and for democrats, there's also a powerful lesson. they, i believe, did not do a lot of education up front about what a recall is. polling shows a lot of people didn't like the idea of doing a recall. they also, i don't think, did enough education on the collective bargaining. >> it's hard to do education when you're outguns by $27 million. >> what we'll talk about is how you spend a limited amount. there's lessons for both sides. >> ruth, unfold it for us. >> two things. i think that it is the citizen's united era and we have to do something about it. there's a movement in the country to amend the constitution. money does not equal speech. having more money should not mean having more speech. this is a long-term site. but it's where we are with our democracy. our democracy is at stake here. nd then the labor movement. what scott walker did is he sent a message to citizens saying -- look at your neighbor. the teacher, the firefighter, that person is a person that you should resent and tear down.
he said, you know, working people that are very insecure with a 17% rate of union membership, that they should turn and have a 30% rate of union -- >> did the divide and conquer strategy work? >> his divide and conquer strategy was a powerful thing and he divided the state and it looks like temporarily, he's conquered. but this is not a winning message because this is not a message about hope or how you can get somewhere you want to get to. it's a message of resentment toward your neighbor. and we have a better message and we need to get it out there and organize it. organize people into labor unions and to vote. >> the good thing here is, the messaging was overpowering. he was able to convince people in the national media to say this state has a surplus when it doesn't. and this is not a good night for l
l labor unions. it's hurt a lot of people. does this put labor in this state on the fence? are they on the chopping block? how hard is it going to be? >> they were put on the fence in february and march of 2011. labor shows that the stand its ground and fight, even when they were -- >> what's next? is right to work movement? they'll try to make this a right to work state? look at the numbers, 62,000 and 28,000. that's how many people they lost. >> but one other number as we talk here tonight. when we came on, it was a 57-42 walker lead. it's now 55-45. as i said, it will narrow. this won't be a massive win for scott walker. this is a deandeeply divide sta. but scott walker, what he means by "divide and conquer" that
means he goes for the win no matter what his margin are. going after public employee pensions and what remains of union power and also, he was talking about "right to work" i think it's real. >> you said in recent days that you haven't seen this kind of enthusiasm in the progressive movement? >> i was out and i know what i saw and i know what people were saying. the rulgt is so differ. you're saying that the race will tighten. the fact is, walker won. and this is a big victory for the conservative movement not only in wisconsin but america. we can't deny that. and they've got the money on their side. and the people that are behind walker outside of the state, they don't want to see a democratic president again. their mission is to get a supermajority in the senate. keep the majority in the house. win the white house and change this country to their ideology, no matter what any poll says.
so what is the message to americans tonight if this is a template on how the rest of the country is going to go? >> i believe it's a pretty damn scary stuff. >> i think the message to americans is a very, very simple one. money can take a dysfunctional and not credible governor and repurpose that person as an electable candidate. if we understand that and recognize that that's what we're up against -- and every progressive in america should -- >> let's go to tom barrett, mayor of milwaukee. >> i couldn't be prouder. i just got off the phone with governor walker and congratulated him on his victory tonight. we agreed that it is important for us to work together.
i want to thank all of you for the work that you have done. this has been the most amazing experience of our lives. and what we have seen over the last 16 months is we have seen this democracy come alive. to those of you -- to those of you who fought, who obtained signatures, who stood out in the cold, who did what you thought was right, never, ever, stop doing what you think is right. that's what makes this such a great country. to those of you who care about this city, which i love, to those of you who care about this
state, which i love, please, please, please, remain engaged. remain involved. because we'll continue to fight for justice and fairness in this city and this state. as i traveled this state, the last several months, i was amazed. i was simply amazed at the energy, the excitement that i saw in people throughout this state. and you, if you had been with me, would feel as honored as i do, to have gotten that opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. people who care about their families. people who care about their communities. people who care about the future of this state. the energy that i have received the last two and a half months has come from you. it's come from the people of this state. and i thank you for that.
but now we must look to the future. and our challenges are real. we are a state that has been deeply divided. and it is up to all of us, our side and their side, to listen, to listen to each other. and to try to do what's right for everyone in the state. the state remains divided. and it is my hope that while we have lively debates, a lively discourse which is healthy in any democracy, that those who are victorious tonight, as well as those of us who are not victorious tonight, can, at the end of the day, do what is right for wisconsin families. that is what our duty is. that's what we must do for the people of the state. so this is not an end tonight.
this is an end of another chapter of wisconsin's history. but there are more chapters to come. and in those chapters, it is my sincere hope that all of us here, that all of us here will remain engaged and for those of you who have been involved for the first time or the 20th time, i hope that you got the same energy from this that i did. because i will continue to fight for this city. i will continue to fight for the people in this city. and i will continue to try to do what is right for all of us. thank you very much. let's go get em. have a great evening! thank you! >> there you see milwaukee mayor tom barrett, conceding the race tonight. he's called governor scott walker and congratulated the governor on his victory tonight. what was very interesting in all of this, and the outcome, we should point out that nonunion households were big for walker
tonight throughout wisconsin. we'll get you those numbers but that's what i'm being told. the john doe investigation and the foe kwal point that the barrett campaign tried to make of the investigation welcome it had very little impact if any, at all? >> i think that people were in their camps going into this. and what was interesting was, people who decided in the last month, the month since the primary, broke 18% for tom barrett. i mean, barrett won the people that were opened to be convinced. the problem was, that wasn't that many people opened and convincing. >> ruthing with your thoughts, very little or no impact at all? >> you know what i think it is? it's hard when you fight such a multifront war. it was hard in the beginning when scott walker came into office and he started an effecting a barrage of differ pieces of legislation. first taking away the collective
bargaining rights. reopening the corporate tax rates. one thing after another and the reason that the 14 left the state was because they had to get a breather and get the word out about everything that was -- when the news broke over the weekend, walker is the potential target of a federal grand jury investigation. people on social media went crazy saying, no, we can't -- >> none of that affected the vote. >> amazing it will break close to the 2010 model. john nickels. coming up, the reverend jesse jackson joins us from milwaukee. and later, lina taylor joins us. stay tuned, we're live here on msnbc. thank you at&t. first, why don't you show her the curved edge... now move on to the slick navigation tiles --
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reverend jesse jackson joins me. >> and later, lina taylor and fred rizor on what happens next in the state of wisconsin. and national implications of walker's victory. i'll talk with that with howard fineman of the huffington post. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" live from madison, wisconsin. oh. [ male announcer ] grab a ritz crackerfuls. made with real peanut butter and whole grain. mmmm [ male announcer ] get hunger before it gets you. mmmm if you made a list of countries from around the world... ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place. let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class.
joining me now, the reverend jesse jackson, founder of the rainbow coalition. i talked to you earlier and you told me what you were seeing on the ground in milwaukee was just something you'd never seen before. how do you unpackage what you saw tonight? and these results? what's your reaction? >> record-breaking votes in milwaukee and madison and much of the rural wisconsin democratic base are republican. that's interesting. secondly, 9-1 spending gap does matter. it really means, ed, more super pac money driving us further and further away from a one-person one vote democracy. i'm concerned what it means when collective bargaining is on the attack wholesale. to write the laws in national as opposed to regional. and of course, gross insensitivity for the people, the poor, whose backs are
against the wall. >> reverend, the conservative movement in this country is now going to amp up its effort to destroy unions and the union base in this country, to create more problems for the democratic base. how do you see this unfolding leading up to the election? >> well, this is -- this kind of milestone but not in some sense, a touchdown. in the sense that there's a big -- august 14th in wisconsin, a bigger one november 6th. i'm concerned now that the thing as basic as infrastructure, the president obama proposed $800 million for the state to build fast rail between milwaukee and madison. that means putting people back to work. by ignoring that, there's 55% unemployment o'of black males in milwaukee. so the plan to put america back to work you have jobs out and --
ed, this process must be reversed. >> yeah. you know, reverend, there's a big effort in this country by the conservatives to destroy and defund public education. this, of course, is hurt penguin minority communities. state budgets are being chipped away. in wisconsin, they took a billion dollars from public education. what does this mean? a lot of republicans are saying that they're going to model what scott walker has done in wisconsin and they're going to do this and move forward with this rad come agenda to knock out public education in america? what does this mean? is this a bellwether night? >> it is. it's a radical agenda because you have a tax on public education and public health and public work, they want to purge workers from the table. purge voters from the roles. so it becomes the middle class loses in this.
profit is up and the wage is down and worker is busted. so while we've taken a blow tonight, we've been dogged down. the ground is no place for the champions. we got to get back up and keep fighting. i think the workers' rights to collective bargaining, that struggle will not go away. the need to plan to reinvent america and put america back to work, it will not go away. the fact is, ed, we've become, as a nation, too violent. spending too much money on unnecessary wars. too much subsidized effort and too much poverty and too much hatred and somehow we've been led away from those extremes. >> but reverend, let me ask you about citizen yient. what does this tell the democratic party? what does this tell? the ground game here, and of course, the ground game you're pushing in milwaukee, had a real big influence, no question about it, but you can't fight that kind of money. what does this tell the democratic party across america? and what does this tell the
american people about what they have to look forward to? >> well, the republicans seem to play the full-court game. the democrats play half-court. the democrats 9-1, you can't win elections when you're outspent 9-1. we won what we expected to win. milwaukee, and we lost rural wisconsin. the move toward the fall, we'll have to have a better equation in investment in the campaign. it pains me to see so much money having so much influence, pushing a one-person one-vote democracy further and further away from the common people. we must keep fighting the fight for public funding of these campaigns. too few people with too much money are call too many shots on america's destiny. >> let's go live now to the scott walker campaign. reverend jackson. thanks for joining us.
scott walker coming out. he's going to give his victory speech tonight. after fighting off the recall, and he defeats tom barrett and remains the governor of wisconsin. scott walker, tonight, winning rural wisconsin in a big way. winning nonunion households in a big way. here's the governor. >> wow! what a crowd! first of all, first of all, i want to change god for his
abundant grace. next, i particularly want to thank not only all of you here but people across the state. i want to thank you for your prayers because for the last year and a half the thing that has sustained me and moom family so much is not just the campaign events but literally at factories and farms and small businesses, just about every day over the past year and a half, i've met people with every one of those stops and what has sustained us is people, many times, people i've never met before, come off the line and come off the farm and say -- governor, we're praying for you and your family. i can't tell you what that means to me. and speaking of my family, how about keeping the first lady of wisconsin?
[ applause ] >> she's been a rock. she's so courageous. so strong. i'm so glad more than 20 years ago on may 1st, 199 2 she agreed to have that first date with me and it's been heaven ever since. together, we're proud to have two sons, i was going to say boys. but they're not boys. two sons, matt and alex. they've been through a lot this last year and a half. i couldn't be more proud. matt is graduating on saturday and alex will be a senior. they've been spectacular. and the rest of our family, my mom and dad, i know a lot of you at our victory centers have my mom's chocolate chip cookies. got to love those. my mom and dad and my brother, david and my sister-in-law, maria and my two beautiful nieces, isabel la and eva, my
father-in-law, tony and all my family and longtime friends and so many who lifted us up over the last year and a half, even when times were tough, we say thank you for all of them. [ chanting "change you, scott." [ great to see so many kids out here. that's what it's all about. i want to thank our tremendous lieutenant governor, rebecca kleefisch. to rebecca and her husband, state representative and their two beautiful daughters, thank you to them for standing up with us as well, for the proud taxpayers of wisconsin.
and i want to thank my incredible staff boat on the campaign and the cabinet and our capital staff, to all the tremendous volunteers from all across this state, we talked about it more than 4 million voter contacts. the staff, volunteers, the supporters, we cannot thank you enough. thank you to all of you here. there's a thing outside with an overflow because we couldn't violate the fire code, but there are people all over this area and across the state, on behalf of our family we say "thank you" to all of you. and thanks to all of you and everybody at home watching tonight. thanks to all the people who quarterback yet again, entrusted in me your vote as governor to be the 45th and continue to be the 45th governor of the great state of wisconsin.
i want to tell you something. i'll share a quick story, last fall, we had a chance, i was going to a governor's association meeting and we had a chance to travel to philadelphia. and i went to independence hall. we didn't get to go to places like philadelphia or washington much because we didn't have a lot of money so for me it was the first trip to independence hall. i was so touched. i stood in there and looked at the desks and looked in those chairs and even though i was a kid growing up a thought our founder were superheroes, bigger than life. standing in the hall it dawned on me that these were ordinary people who did something quite extraordinary. they didn't just risk their political years or businesses, they literally risked their lives for the freedom we hold so dear today and the men and women in uniform in this country defend every single day.
moments like that remind me why america and why wisconsin are so great. you see, what has made our country unbelievable, what has made the united states of america exceptional. what has made the united states arguably, one of the greatest countries in the history of the world, is that in times of crisis, be it economic orifice cal, be they military or spiritual. in times of crisis what has made america amazing has been the fact that throughout our history, throughout the more than 200 years of our history, there have been men and women of courage who stood up and decided it was more important to look out for the future of their children and their grandchildren than their own political futures.
and what has sustained them and what has us is sustained them here in which is ace across our country, is when there have been leaders of courage. what sustained them is they were good and decent people who stood with them shoulder-to-shoulder and arm to arm. that's what you've done for wisconsin and america. tonight, we tell wisconsin we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions. but now, but now it is time to move on and forward in
wisconsin. tomorrow, tomorrow, i'll meet with my cabinet in the state's capitol and we'll renew our commitment to help small businesses grow jobs in this state. >> scott walker -- governor scott walker. >> those that voted for me and those that voted for someone else. because tomorrow is the day after the election. and tomorrow we are no longer opponents. tomorrow we're one as wisconsinites so together we can move wisconsin forward. >> governor scott walker, giving his acceptance speech as he has defeated the recall effort here in wisconsin. we'll have more coverage from madison when we come back he"th show." stay with us. i went to a small high school.
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welcome back to "the ed show" live in madison, wisconsin. we'll go live to milwaukee we'll talk to male nechlt mitchell. good to have you with us. what are you feeling right now. mahlon? you got 46% of the votes. >> i can't hear you with all the screaming in the background. >> well, you got some fans here. no doubt about it. >> that's madison, that's my city. >> go ahead. how do you feel tonight? >> we've already can see that lieutenant governor kleefisch, i wish her well and i congratulated her but at the end of the day it's about our state coming together and people getting things done in the state of wisconsin and we got to get back to that and i'm feeling somewhat, you know, not so good. i'm not going to lie to you but at the end of the day it's not about me.
it's not about tom barrett. it's about the citizens of our state and we have to come together whether you have a "d" or an "r" behind your name and work for all citizens in our state not just a select few. >> where does the state go from here? i mean, may does this do to your union? what does it do to public do downunions? unions in general? this is a realtor pee do in the water for unions? >> do tout it hurts us. but at the end of the day we look forward to the future and working in a state of compromise and this is not always been about unions. this is not been about one group. this is about the citizens of our state. i'm looking forward to electing barack obama as president of 2012. >> what happens, mahlon, as far as the messaging? what didn't go right for the democrats, the progressive movements in this state?
with the john doe investigation and all of the thingsed th that taken place as far as the cuts if to education, what did the democrats miss? >> i don't think we missed anything. you're seeing a governor who wanted to divide and conquer our state and he has, indeed, divided our state. you're seeing money pay big-time in politics. governor walker, gore hers over $30 million, almost $40 million into this fight. we can't get close to that. you're seeing money taking over politics and it's sad. but at the end of the day i'll continue to fight. this isn't. last you've heard from me. i'll fight for the citizens of our state and everybody puts their heads down tonight we'll know we had a great fight. i'm not stopping and i'll continue tim the job is done. >> when you say that you're not stopping, does that mean that you're going to run again? this is the first time you sought public office in your
career. do you think that you'll do this again? do you want to do it again? >> i'm going to regroup tonight. i'm going to talk with my family and i'm going to actually talk to my family which i haven't done, probably, in the past three or four months. this is not about my political future. it's about how do we the state forward? and a divisive partizan politics that we see right now does not get that done. so when i say i'm not done fighting, whether i run for office or not you haven't seen the last from me fighting for the injustices we're seeing in our state and i'll continue to deep my head up because we can't let up. we have a important election coming up in november and i'll keep fighting for barack obama in 2012. >> mahlon mitchell, congratulations on the hard fight. and good luck to you. thanks for joining us tonight. up next, state sfwhoort lina tailor and reaction to tonight's results. stay tuned, right back.
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welcome back. despite the massive "get out to vote" effort, both the governor and lieutenant governor have fallen short. nbc news declaring governor scott walker the projected winner in the recall collection over milwaukee mayor, tom barrett and nbc news declared lieutenant governor, rebeck da kleefisch over mahlon mitchell. i'm joined by lena taylor and fred rissor. why would they allow a governor who doesn't believe in equal pay for women, who has been very radical on education and attacked unions in collective bargaining, how did this happen? >> i don't understand it myself. we'll see what happens when people look at the exit poll.
but i'm sort of flabbergasted. >> you're flabbergasted. what's the next move for the democrats? what's to stop this radical agenda? >> while we're disappointed we're not nongd out. we're not going to lay over dead. this gives us more emphasis to keep going on around here. i'm telling you that what's left of us, we're going to recoup and we're going to take our state back for the progressive liberal state that we belong. >> senator taylor, what are your impressions tonight? does this not bode well for america seeing money that was thrown at this state and the lopsided money that was spent and how little resources the democrats really had to work with as opposed to their opponents? you're thoughts. >> you know what, i don't believe that this is an issue that, this turn, doesn't fair well for the nation or that kind of thing or for our state. i believe that this is the kind of thing where you have one fight or one hill you climb. and then you turn around and you see that there are other hills that need to be climbed. so it's not over.
jesse jackson once said in the midst of all of this that people don't drown in deep water unless they stop kicking. we can't stop kicking. this isn't over, this is just one chapter like tom barrett stated. there's john doe and other chapters and we have to work together. >> senator taylor, we just took or heard from scott walker. his call for unity here in wisconsin. what's your response to that? >> i will roll up my sleeves and work. governor as long as he's our governor. i will still speak truth to power. and i hope that he'll embrace honesty and truth as he moves forward and i'll be there ready to work with him. >> you were -- >> and if not, i'll be calling him out. >> okay. well you called him out on the robocalls and you're going to continue to follow-up on that investigations? how big a story is that, in your
opinion? >> i think that's a huge issue. this goes to the integrity of our campaigns. the senate campaign is not over yet either. we don't know whether or not john lehman does or does not win. with only less than 30% of the votes in. so we'll have to see what that is. i hope that when the investigation gets done we'll know whether or not people did something illegal, campaigning in this election. and let's not forget, there is a john doe investigation that our governor's people have been a part of. so we still don't know why he has the criminal defense fund. but regardless of all of that, the people have chose him, it seems. so because of that, i congratulate him and i'm willing to work with him. he's our governor. >> senators with do you trust scott walktory work with democrats? >> he hadn't worked with us in the past. i hope he changes his views and starts working with us in the
future. we both represent the state of wisconsin and we hope that this experience will result in the governor talking to us, working with us. we want the best for the state of wisconsin. >> well, they're going to try to make this a right-to da-work st. what's your response? >> we'll do everything to fight that. we'll fight it. >> they may try to make it a right-to dork wash state but i think the public will liez up. we have elections coming up this fall. based on this, we're going to change that. we're not going to let that happen. >> senator taylor, what do you think was the big difference in tonight's outcome? what did the democrats not do? what could they have done better? >> you know, ed, we'll be able to sit down and look at all of those issues. i think working across the states that i think making sure that we kind of got on the ground, even earlier, i think, would have been useful.
but in the end, i think we just have to keep making sure that people are informed. i think all of that money allowed for a message to be put out that wasn't necessarily true. but it may take time for people to see that. i think people believe he actually balanced the budget when he didn't. i think that people actually didn't, you know, know what to think related to the john doe, that ultimately will show itself. so from those moments we'll be able to continue to go forward. this fight is not over and we continue to fight for justice and fairness in this state and hopefully our governor will do the right thing and be a man of his word and work together with the democrats across the aisle. >> state senators lena taylor and fred risor, thank you for goinging us. will tonight's results soo an impact on the general election in? mitt romney seems to think so. howard fineman joins me next. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" live from madison, wisconsin.
is. finally tonight, no doubt the country has been watching wisconsin. now that governor scott walker has survived the recall election, what will that mean in? mitt romney seems to think it's going to have a big impangt. romney tweeting earlier tonight, i congratulate scott walker on his victory in wisconsin. tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of wisconsin. what does that mean?
joining me tonight, howard fineman, nbc news political analyst and editorial director of the hufg huffing on the most media group. mitt romney seems to be pretty confident this will echo beyond the voters of wisconsin. how so? >> first let me say, all credit to the people of wisconsin. they turned out in huge numbers and it was a great demonstration of democracy, whether you agree or disagree. america's the envy of the world and wisconsin is the envy of america, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome. i think that should be said. in terms of mitt romney, he's looking at more money and big money for independent pacs that are going to be supporting him. this shows that money talks. we knew that in america but it talked big-time in wisconsin. we know unions are on the defensive politically. getting a recall vote is tough and outsing a sitting governor is tough but the unions, boat public and private put their all into this and they fell short.
and there's blood in the water there and i think the republicans will go after them big-time, especially public employee unions. i think scott walker, based his gubernatorial campaign and his governorship on the idea of slashing budgets and i think the republicans are going to be a little bravery than they very been and if they're serious about it they need to be as candid as scott walker was about cutting the budget. i think it's fair to say that wisconsinites while they might have disagreed with his methods, they ended up approving what he did. no other way to read it than that. >> yeah. >> and i think that mitt romney will do the same. >> so those are three lessons i would take right there. >> i would say that president obama is on notice that he's got a tough rode to hoe and he'll have to take the lead big-time. i think the progressive movement learned some valuable lessons in how to deal with the new
environment of super money, ed. this was going to be the environment anyway. the people on the other side of the big money ought to figure out how to deal with it sooner rather than later. if nothing else, wisconsin gave them object lesson in how to deal with it. they came up short this time but that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons they can learn going forward and lessons the obama campaign should study as they figure out how to deal with this new environment in the 2012 election. >> well, 18% of walker voters say they favor president obama. do you think, howard, tonight's dynamic changes anything for the obama campaign and wisconsin? and for that matter, in mitt western states? >> not necessarily, ed. not necessarily. i think it puts more of a focus on the president. to be the guy that, apparently, that 18% wanted, in other words, they were for walker, at least, were against the recall. let's put it that way.
yet, they supported the president. which i think means that they want the president to be the leader of all the people that they -- that 18%. they want the president to be serious about budget cutting which, indeed, the president has been and, indeed, democrats have often been. the runs have managed to make it sound like they're the ones that care about cutting the budget when, in fact, over the last 15 years or so they've been much more the big spenders on the national scene than the democrats have and president obama needs to make that point. he has a lot of different points to make but i think he has to make that one if he's going to get independent and swing voters in key states like wisconsin. he was ahead in the exit polls in this state. overall, wisconsinites still favor president. they didn't want to oust the sitting governor and i think there was a lot of dissatisfaction. democratic strategists told me about this. a lot of discomfort with the idea of