WISCONSIN - Reporters in Milwaukee asked Governor Scott Walker Wednesday morning to explain an answer he gave to Newswatch 12 Monday in Merrill.
Story By Ben Meyer
At that Merrill event, Governor Walker seemed to back away from a promise in his 2010 campaign.
During the campaign, Governor Walker said again and again he promised to create 250,000 Wisconsin jobs in his four-year first term.
In February 28, 2010, Walker appeared on UpFront with Mike Gousha, a weekly political show seen across Wisconsin.
Gousha's first question to Walker surrounded the 250,000-job promise.
"We've invited Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County Executive here today to talk more about this," Gousha started. "You certainly got a lot of attention with this plan. Is this a campaign promise? Something you want to be held to?
"Absolutely. It's one of those where as County Executive, I made bold promises, and we kept those," Walker replied.
"To me, 250,000 is a minimum. It's just the base," he said later in his response.
The entire interview, on YouTube, is linked below.
On Monday in Merrill, we asked the Governor if that campaign pledge was still realistic.
"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" he told us.
PolitiFact Wisconsin is a nonpartisan project by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
It seeks to hold politicians accountable.
Last month, the project calculated Wisconsin had almost 170,000 jobs to go to meet the 250,000 number.
Governor Walker has just more than 16 months before his first term ends.
PolitiFact picked up on our story from Monday, seeing it as a sign that the Governor could be backing away from his campaign pledge.
PolitiFact's story is linked below.
On Wednesday, the Governor reaffirmed his promise.
On their website, the Journal Sentinel reported Governor Walker told reporters Wednesday morning, "That promise, that pledge made in the campaign was...the reason we focused on it is because we saw the state losing 133,000 jobs before that. And so we wanted a big, bold aggressive goal. Whether we are at 249,000 or 255,000 or whatever the magic number is for us we wanted to go from losing jobs to gaining jobs."
All this attention seemed to concern the Walker administration.
Walker's press secretary, Tom Evenson, called Newswatch 12 on Tuesday, and asked if we could be persuaded to take Monday's story off our website.
Our original story is linked below.
YouTube: Governor Walker's February 28, 2010, Interview on Up Front With Mike Gousha
PolitiFact Wisconsin: Some progress in July, but has the promise become a 'goal'?
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Promise of 250,000 jobs hasn't changed, Scott Walker says
WJFW: Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stop