MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama says he's monitoring the tensions in Madison where thousands are protesting at the Capitol.
Protesters are criticizing efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees.
Republican Governor Scott Walker is pushing the measure, which would also increase how much public workers pay for their pensions and health care.
Obama says everyone has to make adjustments to new fiscal realities. He notes that he imposed a two-year freeze on pay increases for federal workers, and says adjustments like that "are the right thing to do."
However, he says making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain "seems like more of an assault on unions." Obama adds that public employees shouldn't be blamed for larger budget problems.