EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Vice President Mike Pence made it quite clear Wednesday near Eau Claire that Gov. Scott Walker deserves a third four-year term.
“Really, one of the best governors in America,” Pence told a crowd of more than 200 Republican supporters who came to hear the vice president at a warehouse at Precision Pipeline northwest of Eau Claire in the Chippewa County town of Wheaton.
“I’d be here if he was unopposed,” Pence said.
Pence told the crowd he remembers a day on the floor of the U.S. Senate when Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s minority leader, indicated he was frustrated by “Scott Walker Republicans.”
“Nobody said anything that nice about me for a long, long time,” Pence said.
“There are people who are driven and people who are called. Gov. Walker was called. And you liked him so much that you actually elected him twice during his first term,” the vice president said, alluding to the recall election Walker faced in 2012.
Walker has cut taxes by $8 billion while making significant contributions for education. And, under Walker, Wisconsin is recognized as one of the best states in America for businesses, Pence said.
“I think we need four more years of Gov. Scott Walker,” he said.
Pence told the crowd they have choices in the November election.
“A governor with a proven record of results...or we can head back in the other direction,” he said.
Walker also stands for “free market health care that will always protect people with pre-existing conditions,” Pence said.
Tony Evers, Walker’s Democratic opponent “wants to put Wisconsin back into the financial mess that Gov. Walker fixed,” the vice president said.
Evers has also said that everything is on table as far as possible tax hikes, Pence said.
“Tony Evers should never be the governor of the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Pence was in Green Bay for a campaign appearance with Walker earlier Wednesday before coming to west-central Wisconsin.
Pence also used his rural Eau Claire visit to give kudos to President Donald Trump.
“Isn’t he something?” Pence asked the crowd.
“A president who gets up every single day to keep the promises he made to America,” he said.
More federal regulations have been rolled back by the Trump administration in the past two years than by any previous administration, which has led to more jobs and 4.2 percent economic growth. And the country has seen the largest increase for defense since President Reagan, Pence said.
“America is back and we’re just getting started,” he said.
A lot is on the line in the November election and Republicans must remain diligent to keep the GOP in power at both the state level in Wisconsin and in Congress, Pence said.
“Elections are won by people who show up and the most powerful media in America is word of mouth,” he said.
“This is a time where the nation seems divided, maybe more than ever before. Pray for America, for all the people in America. Prayer matters,” Pence said.
“I know we’ve got a good day coming Nov. 6 here in Wisconsin. We will make America great again,” he said.
Walker has erased his deficit against Evers in the latest Marquette Law School Poll, with the two in a statistical tie less than a month before the Nov. 6 election.
The poll results released Wednesday found Walker getting 47 percent support among likely voters, compared to 46 percent for Evers and 5 percent for Libertarian Phil Anderson.
Walker, who took the stage in the rural Eau Claire event before Pence, said unemployment in Wisconsin was 9.3 percent when he became governor and has hovered around 3 percent during the first nine months of 2018. There are more people employed this year than in any prior year in the history of the state, he said.
“Our graduates can stay here and pursue their careers in Wisconsin,” Walker said, indicating his next term would be his final term.
“We want to finish the job. We’ve got a game plan to keep going. We’ve got a lot more to accomplish but we need your help,” he told the crowd.
Walker also spoke about Evers, who the governor said would consider any tax increase as being on the table.
“As long as I’m governor, everything’s not on the table,” Walker said. “We can’t stop now. We’ve got to go forward, not go backwards.”
Democratic claims that he would not require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions are false, he said.
Walker said his wife is a diabetic, both his parents had cancer and his brother has a heart condition.
“We will always cover people with pre-existing conditions here in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Democrats used Pence’s visit to Wisconsin to criticize Walker and the Republicans.
Walker and Pence support the lawsuit that would eliminate the protections for the $2.4 million Wisconsinites with a pre-existing condition, state Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning said in a statement.
“Make no mistake, health care is on the ballot this November, and Wisconsin has a chance to elect a governor and re-elect a U.S. senator who aren’t afraid to stand up to the White House when its policies threaten millions of hard-working people across the state,” she said.
During a news conference at the Democratic Party’s county headquarters in Eau Claire, 91st Assembly District candidate Jodi Emerson said the No. 1 thing she’s hearing from residents in the district is their fear of losing affordable health care.
“It is clear to me Scott Walker is not working for the average person,” she said.
Outgoing state Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, said people need to be taken care of and Evers “is going to do the right thing to make sure Wisconsin folks have health coverage.”
Walker’s policies, in general, are heavily weighted toward the wealthy, Wachs said.
“We’ve got to keep our eye on the ball for the regular folks of Wisconsin,” he said.