In an interview with conservative talk radio host Bill Bennett Tuesday, Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams endorsed the controversial steps taken by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as necessary measures given the state’s labor union laws.
During the discussion, Williams was asked which governors he admired most and named Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. The question turned to the recent actions taken by Walker, who was embroiled in a fight with labor unions earlier this year after a vote successfully curtailed public employee bargaining rights as a way to balance the Wisconsin state budget.
Since then, Walker’s poll numbers have dropped and six GOP state Senators face a recall election next month, but Kentucky’s state Senate president didn’t hesitate in praising him, saying significant steps had to be taken in the face of restrictive labor laws.
“I’ll tell you, he lives in a state where the law and the labor policy and the public employee policy was so bad that he had to do dramatic things,” Williams said. “Sometimes you just can’t wait, so I’m very much an admirer of his.”
From the Williams campaign (h/t B&P):
Williams faces Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith in the general election.
Asked to elaborate on the endorsement of Walker’s administration, Williams’ campaign manager Luke Marchant sent the following statement:
“Senator Williams simply spoke to the fact that Scott Walker is a governor who inherited a severe budget situation that was unique to his state, and he took steps to address it. Is there a parallel in Kentucky? Sure there is. Our economy is suffering. We are bleeding jobs. Unemployment is as high as it has been in a quarter of a century, and the current governor is unwilling to make the tough decisions to improve the situation. As governor, David Williams will take bold steps to enact tax reform and make Kentucky a state that creates jobs. David is someone less concerned with the politics of the day and is committed to getting people back to work. David often says he is more worried about the next generation than the next election. Prosperity for Kentuckians is most important to David Williams and that’s why he will be the state’s next governor.”