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Posted at 01:27 PM ET, 06/13/2011

Top Wisconsin GOP recall target: Paul Ryan is a `hero’

Okay, we have a potential game changer in one of the toughest of the Wisconsin recall fights.

GOP state senator Alberta Darling, one of the Dems’ leading recall targets, has been captured on video gushing with praise for Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, describing him as a “hero,” and exclaiming: “Go Paul Ryan!”

“I’m standing with Ryan — anytime, anywhere,” Darling says.

The video was taken at a Wisconsin fundraiser a few days ago and posted by a local blogger. Dems have been looking for ways to inject Ryan into the recall fights, and Darling has now given them the perfect way to do it:

Asked by an attendee at the fundraiser what she thinks of Ryan’s plan, Darling scoffs at Dem efforts to make Ryan a liability. “They were trying to tie me to Ryan and thought that would be a negative for me,” she says. “I’m standing with Ryan — anytime, anywhere.”

“Go Paul Ryan!” Darling adds. “He’s absolutely a hero!”

Darling’s campaign didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment, but the moment was also captured by the labor-backed group We Are Wisconsin, which has posted it in two videos here and here.

Here’s why this is important. Toppling Darling in a recall would be a huge prize for labor and Dems. She chairs the state senate committee that pushed through Scott Walker’s proposal to roll back public employee bargaining rights. She has been in the state senate longer than any of the other GOPers being targeted. Unlike two other GOP state senators who are top recall targets — Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper — Darling will be very tough to oust. If there’s one GOPer that national right wing money might flow into the state to reinforce, it’s her.

This video, of course, is only going to make her more of a heroine for among national conservatives. But it will also intensify the left’s desire to see her go down — and provide labor and Dems with a new weapon in the quest to make it happen. Expect to see this footage in ads as the campaign intensifies.

By  |  01:27 PM ET, 06/13/2011

 
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