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Walker, Barrett Face Off in Recall Debate

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Walker, Barrett Face Off in Recall Debate

By Kasey Hott. CREATED May 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Scott Walker and Tom Barrett met face to face Friday evening, trying to sway voters just eleven days before a historic recall election.

Leading up to the debate, the two had been targeting each other in separate interviews and attack ads that seemed to be getting more and more personal.

"This is all part of this idealogical civil war. He wants this state to be the prototype for the Tea Party nationally," said Barrett.

"They want to distract attention because they're desperate. The things this election was supposedly about - the reforms - are things they don't talk about anymore, because they're working," Walker said.

Tom Barrett spent much of Friday evening attacking Walker on collective bargaining and his potential role in the John Doe investigation.

"Scott Walker is the only governor in this country who has a criminal defense fund. He's paid over $100,000 in criminal defense fees," said Barrett.

Walker answered by targeting Barrett on taxes and the poverty rate in Milwaukee.

"If you look at my record and compare that with our opponent, the mayor of Milwaukee, in the last 8 years, taxes and fees in this city have gone up 43 percent. Sadly, Milwaukee is one of the poorest big cities in the entire country," said Walker.

Both candidates say they've got what it takes to move Wisconsin in the right direction.

"We don't want Wisconsin to become Milwaukee. We want to help Milwaukee and other cities that are challenged right now become more like the good things that we've done in the state of Wisconsin - and that's what we're going to do moving this state forward," said Walker.

"This is about the future - and about who will put Wisconsin first. I will put Wisconsin first," Barrett said.

Walker and Barrett will meet for a second and final debate next Thursday evening.