Governor Walker discusses 'divide and conquer' video
the WTMJ News Team
MILWAUKEE - Governor Walker is responding to questions about a video that shows the Governor telling a wealthy donor he would use a "divide and conquer" strategy against unions.
The video was shot in January of 2011, prior to the collective bargaining debate. It is only becoming public now.
Newsradio 620 WTMJ Talk Show Host James T. Harris asked the Governor what he meant when he said, "divide and conquer." Click Here to listen to the Governor's interview with James T. Harris.
The Governor didn't respond to the question directly. Instead, he pointed out the video was more than a year old and accused the Democrats of trying to look to the past. "The Democrats and some of the media seem to want to repeat the same debate that we've had over the last year over and over and over again and want to go back and rehash it again and bring it back again. I learned traveling the state that most people and I want to move on," The Governor said.
The video is from filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein. He has done work on Democratic campaigns, and he has donated to Tom Barrett's campaign in the past.
In the video, billionaire donor Diane Hendricks, owner of ABC Supply, asks the Governor, "Any chance we'll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions?"
The Governor responds, "Oh, yeah."
Hendricks then says, "..and become a right to work (state)? What can we do to help you?"
The Governor then says, "Well, we're gonna start in a couple weeks with our Budget Adjustment Bill. The first step is, uh, we're gonna deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you divide and conquer."
Prior to his appearance on Newsradio 620 WTMJ Friday morning, the Walker campaign sent us a statement saying the following:
"Governor Walker has made clear repeatedly that he does not have an interest in pushing right to work legislation. Governor Walker was elected in 2010 on the promise of closing the $3. 6 billion budget deficit left to him by the Doyle administration without raising taxes, mass layoffs of public employees, cuts to essential services, or budget gimmicks, and that's exactly what he did."
The Walker administration has also recently said they're projecting a budget surplus.
In an interview with the Journal Sentinel, Barrett - who is running for the second time against Walker in the upcoming June 5th recall election - says the video shows Walker will say one thing to his donors and another to the public.
"You can't trust him," said Barrett.