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Race Tightens Up After 'Good Week' for Romney, RNC Chair Priebus Says

If Mitt Romney stays within 3 percentage points of President Barack Obama in the polls, the GOP candidate will take Wisconsin, Republican National Committee chairman tells volunteers in Waukesha.

If the polls show Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney within 3 percentage points of Barack Obama in Wisconsin, he will win the state, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, told volunteers in Waukesha Saturday.

“If it is within a field goal, we are going to win this race,” he said during a stop at the GOP campaign office.

So, Priebus was quick to smile when he learned Saturday evening that a new Public Policy Polling poll showed Romney within 2 percentage points of Obama in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, the same poll had Obama 7 points ahead.

“Don’t forget, that is even a Democratic poll, too,” Priebus said in an interview with Patch. “So, the Democrats say we are only down by two, I think we are doing pretty well. I feel pretty happy about it.

“The thing that matters is Nov. 6. We had a good week and we are going to have a good week next week," Priebus added. "We just have to continue to keep our heads down, win every day and talk about how to save this country, talk about the miserable record of Barack Obama and what Mitt Romney wants to bring to the table.”

“I wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars on TV, volunteers and resources in Wisconsin, if we thought that it was a lost cause."

Volunteers have been busy at the Republican Party of Waukesha County’s headquarters on Pearl Street in Waukesha, making phone calls to encourage Wisconsin residents to vote for Romney.

Statewide, volunteers have already made six times the amount of phone calls and 60 times the amount of door-to-door visits than they did in the 2008 presidential election, according to Priebus.

While Wisconsin is considered a swing state, it hasn’t voted for a Republican president since 1984. But efforts are heavily concentrated in Wisconsin following Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s win in a recall election and Romney selecting Janesville Congressman Ryan as his running mate.

“I wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars on TV, volunteers and resources in Wisconsin, if we thought that it was a lost cause,” Priebus said. “We always knew that it was close.”

'A Good Week'

Obama was showing a strong lead in Wisconsin just two weeks ago. Public Policy Polling had Obama over Romney in the state by 7 percentage points. As is the case in other swing states, Obama’s has stumbled in the polls following his performance in Wednesday's debate against Romney.

“I feel good about where we are headed in the campaign,” said Priebus, a Wisconsin native. “Obviously, we had a good week last week. Governor Romney did a fabulous job on Wednesday night.

“I think, No. 1, Obama didn’t show up and he has got a record he can’t defend. He is sort of a deer in the headlights when it comes to his own record," he added.

Priebus said he is looking forward to seeing Ryan take on Democrat Joe Biden in Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Ryan is “extremely bright” and understands the issues facing the nation, Priebus said.

While the Republicans shouldn’t discount Biden, Priebus said he’s not concerned about Thursday’s debate because “I believe in Paul.”

“I am looking forward to my good buddy Paul on Thursday night,” Priebus said. “I don’t think, Joe Biden, (that) you can take him lightly. I know he puts his foot in his mouth a lot, but he is a relatable guy, he is pretty quick on his feet, so I think it is going to be an interesting debate — obviously with two very different styles.”

Unemployment Numbers

While some Republican skeptics have questioned the Bureau of Labor Statistics release of unemployment data showing unemployment has dropped to 7.8 percent nationwide, Priebus wouldn’t say whether he thinks the numbers are skewed to provide political help toward the Obama campaign.

But he does question whether the unemployment drop is enough to move the country forward.

“Economists across America are debating the accuracy of these numbers,” Priebus said. “But my position is that if in fact they are accurate, I think it is always better for this country to have news like that.

“I would be foolish to think it is not better to have more people employed — of course it is. But the fact is, the overall picture is not good for this country," he said. "This president didn’t fulfill the mission and the promises that he made in regard to unemployment. Even if 7.8 (percent) is the right number, if he is celebrating that number, he is living on a different planet."

Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the numbers show Obama has been able to right the economic ship since he took office in 2008.

"We were headed into the worst economic decline of the previous administration and that has now been reversed," he said. "What does Mitt Romney want to do? He wants to employ the exact same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. After his party drove the car into the ditch, he's asking for the keys back."

Barrett and Big Bird

Priebus stopped by Waukesha before heading to a GOP fundraiser in Milwaukee that raised about $2.8 million for the campaign, according to the Journal Sentinel. Ryan was the headliner at the event, which also was attended by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and 200 guests.

Before the fundraiser got under way at the Pfister Hotel, Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett held a press conference just blocks away to announce his support for another public figure who has recently been thrust into the political arena.

Riffing off a remark made by Romney in the presidential debate Wednesday, Barrett stood side by side with Big Bird from "Sesame Street," casting his official endorsement for the children's television character.

Barrett said his children grew up watching "Sesame Street," as do most other households across the country.

"Over 80 percent of children in this country watch 'Sesame Street' and watch Big Bird, so why in God's name would he want to go after 'Sesame Street' when the people in this country want him to go after Wall Street?" Barrett asked.

When asked about Ryan's contribution to the Romney campaign, Barrett said Wisconsin initially saw a bump in support for Romney, but that support has waned as people learn more about Ryan's budget proposal and his plan to overhaul Medicare. Even Senate candidate Tommy Thompson is backing away from "the Ryan plan," Barrett said.

"I think now as people are looking more closely at that plan, they are saying, 'Wait a minute. We don't want this," Barrett said.

Patch editor Jeff Rumage contributed to this story

John Wilson October 08, 2012 at 06:47 PM
unaborted socrates - YOU and your ilk are the reason we have Roe v Wade; hopefully, the sterility of your mind matches your sperm and you will be incapable of reproduction...
Bren October 08, 2012 at 07:38 PM
A pal from Racine County confirms that Paul Ryan is best in a partisan room where the talking points are spooned up like crème brûlée. So we'll see. Personally, I'd like to see a phalanx of fact checkers present at every debate. Just to keep everyone honest. And a return to the time bell. The candidates should have a clear framework within to work/speak, but not one that allows for rote responses. If they can't articulate their response independently and cogently, I think that's something everyone needs to know about. If missiles (God forbid) are in the air, I (and I'm sure everyone else does too) want someone in the Oval Office who can make common sense decisions.
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I’m not buying what the republicans are advertising. They presume that people are not going to examine the debates. Who was lying and on what. We all know the media and polls are tainted with cronyism monies. Can they buy the USA once again? Another Bush for their puppet. Romney with his flip flopping dance has already demonstrated his ambitions to dance to any melody the 1% chooses their Pied Piper to play. Mitt will Not show his IRS Tax information! Mitt does Not know where his monies are ! Mitt does NOT know how it is invested ! Mitt does Not know when he quit Bain ! Well Americans know what all these KNOTS add up to, and it is Not presidential material. Failed to complete application for the job of president. Just as he did for governor. Observe Romney’s lie on the deficit in the debate; http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/05/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-barack-obama-has-doubled-deficit/ Romney lies on doubling deficit. Pulitzer Awarded Site
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM
How long for the Great depression? 13 years. Obama’s Great Recession 27 months. In spite of the Great Republican “Party First” USA second Obstructionist. Obama’s actions helped restore equity markets post a gain of 105% through April of 2011. During Obama’s first 27 months in office. Making up most of the losses with gains to the DOW of 17.2%, S&P 500 25.3% and the NASDAQ 31.7%. Compare this to say Reagan first 3.3 years in office Reagan’s gains to ; DOW 6.86%, S&P 500 6.16%, NASDAQ 7.02%. Obama has surpassed most of his predecessors, including Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan! Not to mention, Obama does it with the slowest increase in spending. Obama has had the slowest growth in spending of any President in the past 60 years: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/ Pulitzer Awarded Site
unaborted socrates October 08, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Of course you aren't Bernard. The government houses you, clothes you and feeds you. What the Republican party offers does not appeal to you since you are a ward of the state.
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Munson; Your comment is false. Emulates the right wing propaganda. Romney 49 to 47 Nationally? Presently its Obama 47.6% to Romney’s 46%. Subtract the tainted cronyism corruptions and we have a landslide in the making for Obama. Tsunami for democrats.
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Gear head; Doesn’t take much to float your boat. Like it shallow RIGHT?
CowDung October 08, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The 'falseness' of Munson's statement depends on the poll. Rasmussen indeed has Romney up 49 to 47 as stated. Citing the different results from a different poll doesn't make his statement false...
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Mau; I always wondered what happened to you. Sad, sad. Now you can break the chain and actually seek creativity for your children. “IF” you have any..
unaborted socrates October 08, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Obama’s Most Used Debate Word? “Uh” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=819q62ZMYVk
CowDung October 08, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Funny how watching a grammatically challenged muppet is somehow equated with creativity...
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Hey Dey; What are you babbling about? Do you really think racist is a done issue? Just look at your buddy Webster ranting on with implied racist violence to the democrats. Racist are alive and they can be found harboring within the republican party. Did you forget about the oak creek church incident already? Racism is a state of mind that refuses to accept its definition when applied to them. They are ABOVE it all.
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Unaborted is another fine example of racism. Don’t tell me. Republican Right? Atrocities have always plagued humanity. Like when Reagan lost those Marines in their barracks or Bush with his 911. Now you want to use stuff like that for a political football. You are one of the sick one’s.
Bernard Forand October 08, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Watt , I have to agree with you. Think it has something to do with Romney’s amount of false, mostly false and distorted statements. Not to mention his demonstration of flip flopping on the his tax issues and now on the 47%. Just keeps flip flopping to the tune of the Pied Piper. Romney’s soul is with the cronyism. Although Obama did point a truth about Romney and what his plans, that may very well affect your children. Imagine having your children outsourced to foreign soils to help fill the coffers of the 1%. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/05/barack-obama/obama-says-romney-would-spend-2-trilllion-military/ Obama states Romney will raise Pentagon budget by $2 Trillion! True Ahhh the republican way… open your wallets and be prepared to sacrifice your children to the great god of greed.
morninmist October 08, 2012 at 08:40 PM
ah--who cares! POLITICO ‏@politico Pew poll: Romney 49, Obama 45: http://politi.co/OOPsBH
morninmist October 08, 2012 at 08:42 PM
call in #lyingRyan--perhaps he can help to bump it up. ha ha POLITICO ‏@politico Pew poll: Romney 49, Obama 45: http://politi.co/OOPsBH
Lyle Ruble October 08, 2012 at 08:51 PM
@John Taxthepoor...Calling independents dumb isn't the smartest move either.
Bren October 08, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I would also add that World War II boosted employment/productivity.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Annie Nominous It would serve you well, as well, to rehearse your comments before posting. It would be appreciated by all. Try flavoring with a wee bit more intelligence.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Cow Dung; Its well known Nationally that the Rasmussen polls are illusional delusional fabrication polls. That’s why they now take all the major polling agencies and tabulate from their combined annalist. Then we get a supposedly more accurate picture of what’s going on. Factors that may corrupt the final analysts, would come from vast sources of monies that have been contributed to their analyst conclusions‘. So we are back to believe ½ what you see and nothing of what you hear. 49 to 47 is a distorted assessment therefore at best we could say its mostly false.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 11:03 AM
John Taxthepoor Your comment is vague. ID of those you are referring to would be appreciated. Your dialog on independents is less than appreciated. As to the rest Pffft. This I deduce is more to your liking. Caught on tape! Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson addressed the Tea Party recently and said this: "Who better than me, that's already finished one of the entitlement programs [as governor], to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?" Emulates Romney’s 47% under the bus ideology. We can expect he will be for Vouchers to feed the Vultures . Imagine had Bush gotten his way and passed his bill for Privatization of S.S. All those pensions would have been wiped out by the Great Recession. Our Main Street USA would have been littered with the homeless retirees. Desolation Row would once again thrive. Ahhh The republican way.. Right Johnny? You and Tommy have it all figured it out.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Cow Dung; How can anyone argue about the forces that illuminate creativity with one with such an avatar as yours. Callow sophomoric comments further advances my speculations of a lost soul.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 11:17 AM
morninmist Poiltico Pew is nothing more than “PU” ! They don’t even make it to the point of being considered worth addressing with an analyst . Just another fly on the manure pile.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Unaborted morninmist …. Two flies on the Cow Dung Poiltico Pew is nothing more than “PU” ! They don’t even make it to the point of being considered worth addressing with an analyst . Just another fly on the manure pile.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Unaborted; You have no Knowledge of my living standards as your comment implies. I am of the 1%. It entertains me when such naïve callow indifferences to facts about your own inequality. Makes the thought of devouring more of your wealth all the more appetizing.
Michael McClusky October 09, 2012 at 12:29 PM
@Seth Green You are right! More people should take a closer look at Gary Johnson. Lord knows that the two major party candidates have been bought off by 'dark money'.
Bernard Forand October 09, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Bren; Agree WW II increased productivity. It was a contributing factor to Truman’s {D} surplus annual budget surplus! One of two presidents that produced surplus. Both were {D}. Obama had 6 months of control of the congress and was able to reduce the $1.4 Trillion annual deficit budget to $1.2 Trillion. Exhibiting another potential for a financial surplus president. Republicans since Kennedy died have used that to set unprecedented filibusters’ to stop Obama from achieving that goal. By comparing the two parties on a 80 year cycle we can see just who gives us more bang for our bucks. Democrats had a respectable average return of 9.6% as when compared to republicans 0.58% average returns. Now if we could return control to Obama, he may yet pull it off. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/ Pulitzer Prize Awarded site
morninmist October 10, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Romney has no shame. He will even use a dead soldier for his political gain. @thinkprogress Mother of Navy SEAL killed in Libya demands Romney stop talking about him in stump speech http://thkpr.gs/PXJB7y ...Boston’s local NBC affiliate WHDH reported this morning that Doherty’s mother objected to Romney using the story in a campaign speech. “I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama,” said Barbara Doherty. WHDH even suggested that it reached out to Romney’s campaign for comment, reporting that “there was no response from the Romney camp.” Yet Romney used the same story in stump speech today in Ohio. Watch it: .....
John Wilson October 10, 2012 at 06:59 PM
mornimist – Willard loves the middleclass and he will use what he can from them to GET THE POWER… It hardly matters what Mrs. Barbara Doherty, the mother of the dead Navy SEAL, Glen Doherty, wants or says; It is ALL ABOUT WILLARD! Remember, Willard fought the entire Vietnam War from Paris, France, so it isn’t like the man hasn’t actually been deeply involved in the combat theatre…
morninmist October 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM
But because of the TEAGOP we are!! @RWwatchMA "We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access for birth control in 2012"-E.Warren http://huff.to/SSGI8i #masen #mapoli

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