WASHINGTON – Former Governor Mitt Romney today said he would support the GOP-led fight in Wisconsin over the rights that union workers have through collective bargaining.
Romney, through his Free and Strong America Political Action Committee, said he would contribute a maximum $5,000 to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
“Liberal big government interests are fighting efforts to rein in out-of-control public employee pay and benefits in Wisconsin,” Romney said in a statement. “It is critical that we stand with the Wisconsin GOP as it stands up for the rights of the taxpayer."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is battling Democrats in his state over legislation that would remove many collective bargaining rights for union workers. It is turning out to be a flashpoint for both parties, with Democrats trying to rally union workers and Republicans trying to hit a message of fiscal discipline.
Romney has slowly become more vocal on the issue, first tweeting about it last week by asking his supporters to support Walker “for doing what’s necessary to rein in out-of-control public sector pay and benefits.” Yesterday, he used his Twitter account again, this time asking supporters to “Donate now to support Governor Walker and WI GOP senators as they attempt to restore fiscal sanity.” Then today, Romney announced his own donation to Wisconsin Republicans.
Several other likely presidential candidates have been aggressive in rallying behind Walker’s cause.
Just before Romney's announcement today, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty released a dramatic, campaign-style video to support the newly elected governor. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin used her Facebook page last week to blast "Wisconsin union bosses." Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told reporters in Washington yesterday that his advice to Walker was, “Hang tough, stand tall, hold your ground.”
Romney’s PAC also donated to Walker during his election last year.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.