Walker, Barrett face off in debate Thursday night - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker, Barrett face off in debate Thursday night

MADISON (WKOW) -- The final recall debate put job numbers to the forefront again as both Gov. Scott Walker and Tom Barrett tried to claim the high ground.

During their second debate, the candidates spent a good share of time arguing over the employment numbers for the state. Initially they showed job losses, then the governor released a report showing there were actually job gains.

Walker defended the numbers, while Barrett said the issue is no longer whether they're valid, because he said even if they are, Wisconsin is still dead last in the Midwest in terms of job creation.

Walker said he was glad to hear Barrett finally accepted the numbers.

The governor was also asked about his 'divide and conquer' comment regarding labor unions. Barrett went on the attack, but Walker said he was referring to taking power away from special interests.

Barrett said, if elected, he would work to restore the right of public workers to collectively bargain and organize. Walker said that would be taking the state backwards.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett are sparring over whether jobs were created in Walker's first year in office.

Walker and Barrett had a spirited exchange over jobs in Thursday's second and final debate before Tuesday's recall election.

Walker two weeks ago issued employment data that showed about 23,300 jobs were created in 2011, a dramatic positive swing from previously reported numbers showing a 33,900 drop, which was worst in the nation.

Walker says he knows the new numbers undermine Barrett's campaign, but "the facts are the facts."

Barrett says even if his numbers are to be believed, Wisconsin's job creation numbers would still be the worst in the Big Ten.

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