Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) acknowledged that Democrats have “had better weeks” during an appearance on “Face the Nation” Sunday in which he assessed the fallout of the Wisconsin recall election.
O’Malley, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said on the CBS program that the victory Tuesday by Gov. Scott Walker (R) showed that a majority of Wisconsin voters think “we shouldn’t have recall elections for policy reasons.”
O’Malley said he doesn’t think the result telegraphs a loss for President Obama in the fall.
“There are battles, and there’s a longer struggle,” O’Malley said.
His appearance followed one by Walker, who said voters’ decision to keep him in office showed they like “people willing to take on tough issues.” Walker last year was hailed by conservatives nationwide for taking on public employee unions and sharply cutting his state’s budget.
O’Malley noted that in two other “contested” gubernatorial elections last year, Democrats prevailed in West Virginia and Kentucky, both states Obama lost in the 2008 presidential election.
“You didn’t see us crowing that that meant the end of the Republican party,” O’Malley said. (He made no mention of lopsided Democratic losses in governor’s races in Louisiana and Mississippi.)
O’Malley was also asked about Obama’s controversial comment last week that “the private sector is doing fine.”
O’Malley’s response: “For a president who usually chooses his words very, very carefully, I think what the president in retrospect would have liked to have said is that while the private sector is improving, and no one can deny that we’ve had 27 months in a row of private-sector job growth, the fact of the matter is that the public sector continues to be a drag on the economy, because in 16 of the last 18 months we’ve had public-sector job losses.”