In Context: Scott Walker, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre

Aaron Rodgers (left) eventually succeeded Brett Favre as quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. (AP photo)
Aaron Rodgers (left) eventually succeeded Brett Favre as quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. (AP photo)

Politicians from both parties often seize on an item the news in an attempt to make a buck -- in campaign donations, that is.

On April 10, 2016, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., did so in an email to her supporters. The target was Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Baldwin’s email began with this:

Governor Walker thinks he’s invincible in Wisconsin politics. In a hail-mary stretch of a comparison, Walker likened himself to two of the greatest quarterbacks in Green Bay Packers’ history -- our current starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

There are things we can’t let slide in Wisconsin, and Walker’s abysmal record along with his delusional comparisons are two of them. Give $5 and help us send Governor Walker packing.

We took that as a cue for In Context, our periodic feature that fleshes out comments that make news.

(Our most recent In Context examined comments that GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump made in Green Bay about punishing women who have an abortion.)

Walker’s reference to the Packers quarterbacks gained a little news coverage.

But knowing Wisconsinites’ interest in Baldwin, the governor and, particularly, their beloved football team, we thought we’d present here a full account of what Walker said.

Walker was interviewed by Charlie Sykes, a conservative radio talk show host in Milwaukee, on April 6, 2016. That was the day after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz bested Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Wisconsin’s GOP primary.

Sykes asked Walker, who endorsed Cruz, whether it hurt Trump that Trump criticized Walker while campaigning in the Badger State in the days before the primary.

Here’s how Walker replied:

Oh, no doubt about it. What I thought about it, I was just in Green Bay a couple times this week, it would have been like coming into Lambeau Field and taking a whack not only at Aaron Rodgers, but it would be even taking a whack, even though he's been gone for a while, at someone like Brett Favre. As much as some of us were frustrated when he (Favre) went to the (Minnesota) Vikings, in the end he’s still a Packer. We loved him when he came back last year. That would have been like having somebody coming in and not getting it, and coming in and somehow attacking Brett Favre in Lambeau Field in Green Bay. That just would not have worked.

And not just going after me, and not just going after (Janesville Republican and House Speaker) Paul Ryan -- you can see the numbers in Paul’s district; people didn’t much care for that, either -- but he (Trump) really was going after us. Because in this state, Republicans, conservatives, a lot of independents, even a few discerning Democrats -- we won the recall, we won the re-election. It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about a personality issue. It was about showing the world that common-sense conservative reform has worked.

So many people put time and effort into that. That attack was really an affront, not just against me or my political team, it was an affront against all that we had done.

After a few more comments, he finished by saying:

"I think sends a clear message that anyone who doubts that we’re not back and re-engaged in Wisconsin, they don’t doubt it after last night."

Sykes said: "Yeah, you got your mojo back, didn’t you, Scott?"

"Absolutely," Walker said.