Walker Continues To Attack Mary Burke For Outsourcing Jobs At Trek

Walker Campaign Launches New Ad Focusing On Burke's Record At Wisconsin Bike Company

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Gov. Scott Walker stood by his attacks when asked about them at a campaign stop in Hudson. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR News.

Gov. Scott Walker has gone all-in with his attacks on Mary Burke’s time at Trek Bicycle Corp., slamming his Democratic challenger for making money off a company that outsourced jobs.

When Walker’s campaign started attacking Burke’s record at Trek last week, her brother, John Burke, who is Trek’s current CEO, accused Walker of trying to harm the company. Trek ran a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the weekend highlighting Trek’s successes, saying it had hired nearly a thousand Wisconsinites.

On Tuesday, Walker hit back again, running another ad blasting Burke for building 99 percent of Trek’s bikes in other countries. During a campaign stop in Hudson, Walker again stood by the attacks, stressing that nobody was disputing that Mary Burke profited from outsourcing.

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“At no point has John Burke’s letter, at no point (has) Mary Burke’s ads or anything else the Burke campaign put out, in any way disputed those facts,” said Walker.

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Walker was attacking Trek to try to distract from his own poor record on job creation.

“I just think it’s shameful, especially for a governor who claims to be pro-business, that he is just shamefully attacking an iconic Wisconsin business,” said Baldauff. “I think it really proves that he doesn’t understand how the business world operates, and that’s evidenced by the fact that we are dead last in the Midwest in job creation.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee said Walker’s decision to keep attacking Burke on outsourcing is likely a sign that the polling and focus groups his campaign is doing show this issue will move undecided voters.

“Even though this does seem a little sort of peculiar ideologically, if Governor Walker believes it will help his campaign, he’ll do it,” said Lee.

Also on Tuesday, the state Republican Party filed a formal complaint against Trek for the newspaper ad it ran on Sunday, saying the ad was effectively an unreported campaign contribution. Trek spokeswoman Marina Marich said the company was entitled to defend itself under the First Amendment.

Watch the new ad released by the Walker campaign below:

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