Romney Walking Tightrope in Wisconsin

He's backing Scott Walker, but needs blue-collar votes
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2012 3:51 AM CDT
Romney Walking Tightrope in Wisconsin
Mitt Romney speaks to a crowd at a town-hall style campaign event in Madison, Wis., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Republican candidates chasing the presidency are eagerly embracing Wisconsin governor Scott Walker for his controversial fight against public sector unions. But with an incredibly tight recall election looming June 5, Walker isn't exactly returning the love. Desperate for every vote and worried that supporting any one GOP candidate could cost him the votes of other candidates' supporters, Walker won't be endorsing anyone in the Wisconsin primary tomorrow, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. “Walker has no margin of error,” said a political affairs professor. "He’s already a hero to every Republican. Walker hurts himself if he endorses any individual candidate.”

Also facing little room for error is Mitt Romney, who is leading in the primary polls in Wisconsin, but who must balance his support for Walker and anti-union positions with his need for votes in key blue-collar swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan in November, reports the Hill. Romney has "gotten himself to the point where he’s so extreme on some of these issues that he’s not going to be able to pivot back,” said one Democratic strategist. But Romney supporters downplay such dangers. “It doesn’t matter if your opponent’s base hates you,” said one Republican strategist. “To the extent that the fight is Romney versus the union bosses, he’s in great shape.” (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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