Orrin Hatch: Wisconsin Gov. Walker “Did A Great Job”

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June 7, 2011 2:45 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stopped by the Hill today to discuss his accomplishments with Senate Republicans, seeking to garner support for the embattled state senators facing recall petitions in the aftermath of a vote to seriously curtail public employee bargaining rights.

“He was trying to buoy us up a little bit … basically to fill us in on on some of the travails that [he’s] had,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in response to a question from TPM shortly after a weekly GOP policy lunch that hosted the governor.The Wisconsin election board ruled last week that another three Republican state senators will face recalls, bringing the total number of Republicans facing a July 12th. special election to six. At least three Democratic state senators are also facing recall efforts.

Walker’s popularity has continued to plunge over the last three months as a recent PPP poll found that only 43% of voters now approve of the job he is doing, compared to 54% who disapprove. The poll also found that for the first time, a majority of people favor recalling Walker himself, 50% to 47%.

Continuing his outreach to conservatives in order to dodge a potential tea party challenge in 2012, Hatch ignored those polls and gushed over the governor’s record. He intimated that Washington could learn a lot from Wisconsin on reducing spending.

“He did a great job, the more I see that man the more I’m impressed with him … he’s terrific,” he said. “And he’s not partisan necessarily, he’s just doing what he knows has to be done for his state.”

“He’s one of the leaders of this country right now,” he added, “and I just want to thank him for what he’s doing, for setting an example.”

TPM also asked Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyle (R-AZ) about the nature of their discussion with Walker, but both declined to add further comment.

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