Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) knocked Mitt Romney's campaign Wednesday for playing it too safe and assuming the election will just be a referendum on President Barack Obama.
"I think there's a lot of caution. I think the mistake that they’ve made is the feeling like it can just be a referendum on the president," Walker said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It's certainly a part of it for any incumbent: it's got to be a referendum on, 'Do you like or dislike, not just the president, but his policies?' But there’s got to be something more. People don't just vote somebody out -- they've got to vote somebody in."
The governor, who recently won a historic recall election in Wisconsin, said that contrary to a widespread perception of Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee is both personable and relatable and should play up those strengths more on the trail.
"The bottom line is they've got a plan like any good campaign, and what I point out to them is I'm not attacking him. I think he has the capacity to do it, I wish he would do it more," said Walker. "When he was with Paul Ryan and I in Janesville a few weeks ago, he was great. He relates to people well, relates to small-business owners well. I would like to see more of that."
"His performance is the best on the road," Walker continued. "In fact, I would get rid of the podium, get him right in the crowd and defy all the stereotypes built about him in the media, because I think he can relate. In many ways they've pulled him back and want it to be a referendum on the president. I don't think that's enough."
Walker isn't the first Republican to urge Romney to be more than just the anti-incumbent. In recent months, a growing chorus of conservative voices has made clear their feeling that Romney should stop running as "anything but Obama," especially in the wake of the Obama campaign's brutal attacks on Romney's business record.