President Obama Takes Swipe at Scott Walker

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Scott Walker.Photo: Benny Sieu/Corbis

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker scored another win against unions on Monday when he signed a “right to work” bill into law, banning unions from requiring workers to pay dues or fees. President Obama responded by taking a jab at Walker, though he didn’t mention him by name. In a statement, Obama called recent attacks on unions “inexcusable” and said he’s “deeply disappointed that a new anti-worker law in Wisconsin will weaken, rather than strengthen workers in the new economy.” He added, “even as [Wisconsin’s] governor claims victory over working Americans, I’d encourage him to try and score a victory for working Americans – by taking meaningful action to raise their wages and offer them the security of paid leave. That’s how you give hard-working middle-class families a fair shot in the new economy – not by stripping their rights in the workplace, but by offering them all the tools they need to get ahead.”

That may be Obama’s harshest attack on a potential 2016 candidate, but of course, to GOP presidential-primary voters, Obama is Darth Vader: If he attempts to strike down a Republican candidate, they’ll become more powerful than he can possibly imagine. So, does Obama want Walker to secure the nomination because he thinks he’s beatable, or is he still miffed about the governor questioning his patriotism and religious beliefs? (Or maybe he doesn’t care about the Democrats’$2 2016 strategy and actually thinks attacks on unions hurt American workers.)