WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden gave his enthusiastic support to the effort to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and other Republican state officials on Thursday while in the Badger State for a fundraiser.
According to the official pool report, Biden spoke to more than 150 Democratic activists, donors and politicians for more than 30 minutes at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. The vice president was introduced by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who was Walker's predecessor and decided not to seek reelection in 2010 after eight years in office.
Biden then praised Doyle, saying, "Oh, what a difference a governor makes! Elections have consequences, man, and nobody in the country knows that better than you here in Wisconsin and maybe our friends in Ohio.”
He then said, "I wish you luck on your recall efforts,” which reportedly drew "hearty applause."
Also on Thursday, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, recommended that the recall elections for Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) move forward. The election officials determined that there were more than enough valid signatures collected to trigger the recalls.
Democrats are also trying to recall four Republican state senators. The accountability board had already said that there were enough signatures for those elections to proceed.
These recall elections are the next step in a campaign to oust Wisconsin state Republicans who pushed controversial budget legislation stripping state employees of their collective bargaining rights. In August 2011, Democrats successfully recalled two Republican state senators from office, but fell short of the three Republican losses needed to take control of the chamber.
On Friday, the GAB will be voting on whether to officially order the recall elections. If the board says yes, the primary election will be held on May 8 and the general election on June 5.
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