At top is the cheat version of this post. Read on for a transcript and more commentary. The video is at bottom of the post:
Wisconsin’s centrist candidate for governor has appeared on MSNBC for a brief softball interview by Rachel Maddow. She holds her cards close to her chest, as usual, but comes out strong for reproductive choice on what is the same day Planned Parenthood gave her its endorsement.** To my knowledge her statement in support of reproductive choice is stronger than any other statement she has delivered to date. Burke describes Walker’s agenda as “divisive” without offering much explication which is frustrating to me and perhaps other political junkies who’ve been watching his Tea Party extremism in frustration for years now. Burke is a bit stiff but does a passable job on her first national TV appearance.
Rachel asks “why do you think you can beat him now when the recall effort didn’t beat him before”?
Mary Burke answer: “Well I think it gets down to who we are in Wisconsin.
We’re people who LIKE to get along with each other and we like to work together to move the state forward. And as you mention this was incredibly divisive [at this point she is referring to Maddows mentions of Act 10, the protests in response, the recall] and I think people really want leadership that does bring people together. And I’ve heard that as I’ve gone around the state. So I think that WILL be a big campaign issue – it’s the TYPE of leadership and is it the leadership that brings people together or is it the divisive leadership that we have seen in the last 3 years”.
Oh my. That vagueness. This is like a Tom Barrett 2012 answer.
Is this enough to lure independents and a few conservatives who have woken up to how insanely ideology and corporate-driven Walker’s agenda is – – but aren’t sure they really like Democrats? I assume that’s what her campaign is banking on.
Meanwhile people who know well Walker’s lunacy* can’t help but hear nails on a chalkboard at a weak answer on it. Do we not know that he dropped a “bomb” on working people? Did we not see him point to the state flag and say that we would have the world’s largest open pit mine to drain acid into Lake Superior because there is a miner on the flag?
Even “leadership” is a misnomer. Walker and Company has used political terrorism given that the penalty for Republicans who do not vote in lockstep and sign secret redistricting agreements was and is getting primaried with Koch money.
Then Maddow asks about the gynecological governing of Walker (money taken from P.Parenthood, the equal pay for equal work law rolled back) and says, “Did those efforts contribute to your decision to run against him?”
Burke Answer: Absolutely. You know I believe very strongly that women should have the freedom to make their own healthcare choices and what the governor has done is roll back Wisconsin many, many years. And so I think it’s important that we are able to make those choices and I was encouraged to have Planned Parenthood’s endorsement today. But also we will be focusing on the issues that matter most to the people of Wisconsin which are jobs.
I think that is the very first unqualified support she’s delivered to an issue. EXCEPT for jobs. And who’s against jobs? I thought maybe gay marriage got the same big cheerleading, but when she spoke with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she is quoted thusly: “I believe that people should have equality in marriage,” Burke said. “…But as you know it would require going back to a referendum to change it and I think it ultimately will be the people of Wisconsin who decide.”
Maddow: You did get an endorsement, as you just said, a year out from the election. Uh from Planned Parenthood I read their endorsement and they’re very much focused on policy changes…. .. It’s a bit of a signal though that your race – if you’re the candidate against Governor Walker – umm – it’s going to be a big high profile race. Do you expect there to be a lot of national attention – a lot of national outside groups weighing in the way that Wisconsin politics have sort of gotten accustomed to these past few years?
Burke: Well I wouldn’t be surprised by it. And I think that no doubt Governor Walker has made himself a national Tea Party figure and that will bring attention. But I think the election in the end will be about what the people of Wisconsin care about. About whether they have leadership that’s focused on the issues that are most important to them.
You know I have a track record of 30 years in terms of addressing issues. In the private sector I worked for Trek bicycle and the division that I ran there, we increased sales from $3 million to over $50 million dollars in just a few short years. Then at the Dept. of Commerce we had a 4.8% unemployment rate and 84,000 more jobs than we have today. And then I got into education and I said “How are we going to close the achievement gap” and I created a partnership that brought together the boys and girls club and the Madison Public Schools so that students – high school students who would be the first in their family to attend college were on that path and able to realize those dreams. And I think that’s what the Wisconsin voters are going to care about. They’re going to care about leadership that brings people together that sets the priorities that are the most important to them, and that’s what I’m going to do when I run this race.
Burke’s interview starts at about the 4 minute mark in the embedded player below. If you’d prefer YouTube, click this link to get to John Peterson’s copy.
*People finally figuring out that Walker’s version of “open for business” has some very serious costs to health and happiness? People figuring out he’s so open to business he’ll hand our public tax dollars to religious business?
** Well, if you were curious, yes I do find it frustrating that this endorsement comes about 1 year before the actual election. That timing makes it look more like a circling of wagons. Very interesting.