Walker, Barrett take on jobs, collective bargaining in debate
MILWAUKEE (WAOW) -
Governor Scott Walker and challenger Tom Barrett met Thursday night for the final debate before Tuesday's recall election.
Both candidates were willing to challenge each other in the hour-long debate broadcast on Newsline 9.
The first question offered up by moderator Mike Gousha set the tone for the debate with the issue that started the recall: collective bargaining.
"There is no question, let's be honest here, the question was, how can we make this a right to work state? You take away the working rights of people not just in public unions but private unions," Barrett said.
Walker defended his changes saying, "Somebody needed to stand up and take on the powerful special interests in this state."
But while Governor Walker touted the budget balancing effects of the collective bargaining law, Barrett vowed to un-do it.
"I would restore the right to collectively bargain and to organize. I think those are fundamental rights," he said.
The candidates fought back and forth, sparring over jobs and the economy.
"We have a plan, it's a plan that's working, it's moving this state forward that's the choice people have to make," Walker said.
But Barrett fired back, "The fact is, using your numbers, we're dead last in the Midwest."
The candidates also debated the accuracy of recently released job numbers.
"There are no Tom Barrett numbers, ok, there's no Tom Barrett numbers. I don't create any numbers. I use the same numbers the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that last year, Governor Walker loved," Barrett said.
But Walker defended his claims saying, "The numbers that the state Department of Workforce Development are required to have submitted by May 16th of this year are the numbers surveying almost 160 thousand employers across the state that every economist, including one that gave you money, acknowledges is the best measure of jobs in the state."
This was a much more active debate than the one held last week, and it was the last time both candidates will face off before the recall election on Tuesday.