With the midterm elections one week away from Tuesday, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley profiled the race in Wisconsin for governor as incumbent Governor and Republican Scott Walker faces off against Democratic candidate Mary Burke.
While it’s certainly worth covering governor’s races across the country, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds chose to use the occasion to go after Walker by asking Burke if a victory over Walker would “send a message to the rest of the country about the kind of policies and politics that he practices.”
In a segment that began with anchor Scott Pelley mentioning how President Obama was campaigning in the Badger State for Burke on Tuesday, Reynolds subsequently didn’t even mention the President until the very end of his story.
Instead, Reynolds led off by informing viewers that 2014 is Walker’s third campaign for governor as he was “first elected in 2010, Walker survived a recall effort in 2012, and is now asking Wisconsin for another term."
Next, Reynolds brought up “[t]he huge protests that erupted three years ago when he eliminated the bargaining rights of public sector unions” and Walker’s possible presidential ambitions in 2016.
It was following that that the CBS News correspondent attacked Walker and his supporters:
Still, Walker has shown an ability to raise a lot of money from donors who applaud his tax-and-budget-cutting ways and dream of him in the White House, but Walker is vulnerable because he promised 250,000 new jobs and created only 111,000 of them.
Turns out, however, the number that Reynolds used doesn't check out. According to my colleague Tom Blumer in an October 11 post, the number of jobs Walker has created is closer to 126,000. It's also worth pointing out that his Democratic predecessor Jim Doyle lost 170,000 jobs between Feburary 2008 and February 2010 and that Doyle's Secretary of Commerce was none other than Mary Burke.
Burke responded to the question of what a victory by her would mean nationwide in terms of the “policies and politics” Walker believes in (so, tax cuts, pro-growth, less government spending, etc.) by proclaiming that it would “because what we have seen under Scott Walker is [an] extreme, tea-party agenda.”
Returning to Walker, Reynolds played up his supposed lack of enthusiasm for receiving support from Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It was only thereafter that Reynolds mentioned the President in his closing by pointing out that the location of Obama’s campaign stop was on “fertile field because the city ward in which this school is located gave the President 99 percent of its vote in 2012.”
The complete transcript of the segment that aired on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on October 28 is transcribed below.
CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley
October 28, 2014
6:41 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Campaign Visit]
SCOTT PELLEY: With the election a week away, President Obama made a rare campaign trip today on behalf of the Democrat who is challenging Wisconsin's Republican Governor. This race is as tight as can be, and Dean Reynolds is in Milwaukee.
WISCONSIN GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER (R): Good morning!
DEAN REYNOLDS: Scott Walker is running for governor again – for the third time in four years.
WALKER: I'm running for you.
REYNOLDS: First elected in 2010, Walker survived a recall effort in 2012, and is now asking Wisconsin for another term.
WALKER: I'm their number one target.
REYNOLDS: The huge protests that erupted three years ago when he eliminated the bargaining rights of public sector unions, also made Walker a national figure with possible ambitions outside Madison. A book and a national speaking tour have created a presidential buzz which Walker does not fully dismiss. [TO WALKER] Have promised the voters of Wisconsin that you will serve a four-year term?
WALKER: I said my plan is to be Governor the next four years. The plan I have laid out, talked about publicly, is a four-year plan. It's not a two-year plan or year-and-a-half-plan.
REYNOLDS: Still, Walker has shown an ability to raise a lot of money from donors who applaud his tax-and-budget-cutting ways and dream of him in the White House, but Walker is vulnerable because he promised 250,000 new jobs and created only 111,000 of them. Walker's Democratic opponent is Mary Burke. [TO BURKE] If Scott Walker is defeated, does that send a message to the rest of the country about the kind of policies and politics that he practices?
WISCONSIN DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE MARY BURKE: It will because what we have seen under Scott Walker is extreme, tea-party agenda.
REYNOLDS: Both candidates have had help from party headliners, though Walker sounded less than thrilled when we asked him about one helper in particular. [TO WALKER] Is Governor Christie going to help you with undecided voters? Isn't he coming here?
WALKER: I think in the end he's coming because he asked if he could come and we weren't going to say no.
REYNOLDS: The Democrats have brought the President here to Milwaukee and to this school to energize voters in this very close gubernatorial race, and, Scott, it should be fertile field because the city ward in which this school is located gave the President 99 percent of its vote in 2012.
PELLEY: Dean Reynolds on the campaign. Dean, thank you.