Scott Walker Disagrees With Mitt Romney On First Responders As 'Big Government'

Scott Walker Splits With Romney On Key Issue

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said on Sunday that he disagreed with Mitt Romney's recent statement that the governor's win in last week's recall election showed that voters oppose hiring more teachers, firefighters and police officers.

"I think, in the end, the big issue is that the private sector still needs more help," he told Bob Schieffer on CBS's "Face the Nation." "The answer's not more big government. I know in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. That's not what I think of when I think of big government."

Romney said on Friday that President Barack Obama missed the message from Wisconsin's recall election, which was held after outrage from some voters over Walker's law limiting collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.

"He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers," Romney said. "Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

Schieffer asked Walker whether he agreed that his victory showed "the American people want fewer cops and fewer teachers and fewer firemen."

"Well, I think it's slightly different," Walker replied. "I think in our case what they wanted is people willing to take on the tough issues, not only here in Wisconsin but across the country. And I think Governor Romney's got a shot, if the R next to his name doesn't just stand for Republican, it stands for reformer."

He also had some advice for Romney, saying the candidate should adopt a Reagan-esque plan if he wants to prevail in November.

"I just hope he takes a page out of President Reagan's playbook in 1980, where it was not only a referendum on the failed policies of President Carter, it was also something where President Reagan laid out a clear plan," he said.

Walker said he believed Romney will be able to lay out such a plan, citing his past experience in the private sector.

"I hope he goes big and he goes bold," he said. "I think he's got the capacity to do that. I don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on Barack Obama. I think it's got to be more."

He said the recall's outcome doesn't mean Wisconsin will be a sure win for Romney, but it suggests the state will be in play, particularly if he picks a strong platform.

"I think that can win in Wisconsin, and I think that can win in other states," Walker said.

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