Two of the nation’s new Republican governors are wrestling with just how unpopular they are. In an extended interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says his administration “had not built enough of the case” for stripping union rights from public employees:
“What I should have done, from a political standpoint, was build that case sooner,” Walker said.
Now Governor Walker looks vulnerable to a recall, which could happen next year. He tells the Milwaukee paper that he’ll have to be even more aggressive if he’s to create enough jobs.
In Florida, his Republican counterpart Rick Scott says his 29 percent approval rating – the nation’s lowest – also stems from his aggressive agenda. From the New York Times:
“Everybody’s scared about change,” he said. “I’m going to make the tough decisions because I know, long-term, they pay off. But, you know, short-term, everybody is worried about change.”
The consequences for the Republican Party in Wisconsin and Florida have been painful. In Wisconsin, six Republicans in the State Senate are up for recall. In Florida, Republicans tell the Times they’re worried Mr. Scott’s unpopularity will hand the state to President Obama in 2012. Governor Scott says he doesn’t think about being unpopular. His fellow Republicans certainly do, with two mayoral candidates in Miami backing away from him, and this from Republican State Senator Mike Fasano: “If the election was held right now, he would have no impact or a negative impact — there’s no question about it.”