First, a note to Chuck Todd; Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and nearly bankrupt the county.
That would have made Todd's question even more relevant:
Todd pointed to stark statistics for African-Americans in Wisconsin — the nation's highest incarceration rate for black males, a ranking of 50th in opportunities for African-American children, the black unemployment rate being double the national average — and asked why that was the case.
As usual, Walker blamed someone else for the problems in Milwaukee:
Walker pointed toward what he called "poor policies" in Milwaukee, saying it's why he has pushed for expansion of school choice.
Hold on there, a little Back History: In 2009, when Walker decided to run for governor, he claimed the problems in Milwaukee were caused by "poor policies" from...guess who, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. But now as governor, it can't be Walker's fault? Check out this video from Upfront with Mike Gousha, that also includes his push for "shrinking" wages. You read that right:
Walker: (On doing away with more state jobs) "Yes...we're going to have to look at shrinking the size of government, we're going to have to look at shrinking more importantly, the size of wages and benefits..."
Mike Gousha: "There are going to be people who say look, Milwaukee county has the highest poverty rate in the state, we're losing jobs in the city of Milwaukee, your largest municipality at a rate almost unmatched by any other big city. Do you share any responsibility for that?"Walker never made the situation better in Milwaukee as governor, a fact pointed out by Todd. Walker as county executive actually agreed to dissolve the county, admitting that it was essentially bankrupt. From the Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice:
Walker: "Everybody does, but the state of Wisconsin has done specific things, policy wise, that have effected jobs here...if you look at the tax increases of $1.2 billion of new taxes..."
Mike Gousha: "Do you think you bare any of the responsibility for the numbers I just mentioned for the poverty rate, for the lack of employment right now in this community?"
Walker: "No, for us that's been an issue for years...politicians don't create jobs or eliminate jobs...!"
jsonline: Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy … the powerful Greater Milwaukee Committee is looking to recommend doing away with the elected county executive's post, slicing county worker benefits and spinning off the zoo, the bus system, the parks and much else under separate commissions.With Walker in charge....
(The Greater Milwaukee Committee tried to hide their report, saying) "We don't want this to become some sort of political football during the fall election campaigns ... If these dramatic steps - or something like them - aren't taken county government will collapse," the draft report suggests.
The report also puts it this way: "If we don't make changes today … Parks will close, bus routes will end and families in distress will not get the help they need. Our Milwaukee will grow smaller and smaller as people and companies leave."He made things worse, blowing a hole in economic development by rejecting the high speed rail project, which in turn killed train manufacturing in the city and related business development along the train route. Here's more of Walker's trade mark word salad:
"We've done all sorts of things," Walker said in response to a question about putting the blame on Milwaukee. "In fact, we put hundreds of millions of dollars in to try to help rebuild the economy out there, but again you've got to have leaders that are willing to use the tools that we've given them. Those are things that we're committed to, and as president I'm going to try to empower cities, towns, villages of all different sizes around this country to have more freedom and more liberties to do things without the restrictions from Washington and without some of the restrictions that you see … Our reforms have opened the door, and school districts like Milwaukee not only in my state but others across the country hopefully can use those reforms to do a better job of providing a quality education."