Why is Scott Walker throwing left-handed punches at his Democratic challenger?

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The latest polls show that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is running neck-and-neck with Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

Of course, the election is still three months away, but Alec MacGillis SAYS there are indications that the incumbent is at least a little worried:

[I]f there’s any doubt that these polls are spooking Walker, consider the tack this conservative icon has started to take of late: attacking Burke with the rhetoric of a trade-bashing, tax-hiking liberal.

Burke is a former executive at Trek Bicycles, the big Wisconsin-based bike manufacturer founded by her father, and frequently invokes her business experience on the campaign trail. In response, Walker has started going after Burke with attacks borrowed straight from the playbook that Democrats have used against any number of Republican businessmen-candidates over the years, most notably against Mitt Romney in 2012. Walker has launched two ads hitting Burke for Trek’s outsourcing much of its manufacturing overseas. One ad shows small children being read a bedtime story about Burke sending jobs to China: “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your fortune grow? By making millions of dollars . . . sending jobs overseas that could have been done in Wisconsin . . . to countries where women and children might work up to 12 hours a day, earning only two dollars an hour.”


This is surprising stuff coming from a Republican who throughout his career has fashioned himself as a pro-business conservative willing to stand firm against liberals making cheap populist appeals.