Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker presents President Barack Obama with a Milwaukee Brewers baseball jersey upon his arrival at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
But the governor bowed out of the planned Master Lock tour with Mr. Obama, saying he had a stomach flu. Mr. Walker said his decision not to accompany the president to the plant had nothing to do with politics.
“If it was politics, I wouldn’t have greeted him here,” Mr. Walker told a pool reporter traveling with the president. “Today’s the president’s day. I’m appreciative he’s in Wisconsin, appreciative he’s focused on manufacturing. We’ll leave politics for another day.”
Mr. Walker is the target of a recall election that could come in the spring or summer. Both sides in the debate are portraying the recall election as a test of how Mr. Obama will fare in Wisconsin this year.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, a native of Wisconsin, called Mr. Obama’s visit “nothing more than yet another taxpayer-paid … campaign stop by the president.”
Coinciding with his speech on the economy, Mr. Obama seized on a positive economic report Wednesday showing that manufacturing production rose 0.7 percent in January.
“Our job is to seize this moment of opportunity to create new American jobs and American manufacturing,” the president said. “And the place to start is our tax code.”
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