The first debate between the candidates running in the June 5th Wisconsin Governor recall election, Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), was held Friday in Milwaukee.
The candidates were questioned by local television news anchors as well as the debate moderator, Foundation President & CEO John Laabs. Scott Walker defeated Tom Barrett 52-46 percent in the 2010 state governor’s race.
Gov. Walker received severe voter criticism in 2011 after he signed a law minimizing public employees' unions of collective bargaining rights which Barrett asked him about during the debate.
"You decided to use a budget crisis to try and divide and conquer this state," Barrett said, "That's what happened. That's what led to all of this. And you succeeded. You succeeded in dividing this state."
Gov. Walker said he's concentrating on the states's future, not the past. "Going back and rehashing the same debate we had last year as my opponent wants to do is not the way to move forward," he said. We're turning things around. We're headed in the right direction."
The hour-long debate was hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation and took place at the WMVS-TV studios in Milwaukee.