Barrett's problem is that he is caught between issues; criticizing Walker for his collective bargaining changes wasn't moving voters, so Barrett is trying to change the subject. But Barrett can't even articulate what he would have done differently to balance the state budget, or how he would do so in the future. As I wrote at The Corner today:
Back in early April, John McCormack of the Weekly Standardgot the ball rolling, asking Walker's soon-to-be opponent, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, what he would have done to balance the $3.6 billion budget deficit. Barrett essentially took a pass, mentioning that he would repeal some of the corporate-tax cuts Walker created, which only add about $100 million per year to the deficit. (And can only be claimed by businesses that are actually creating jobs in the state, which one presumes Barrett thinks is a good thing.)
Two weeks later, Barrett said he thought the key to creating jobs, and thus increasing revenue to the state, was -- and this is not a joke -- to encourage "clean energy" technology. Barrett specifically listed windmills as a technology that will help the state turn the economy around.
This is all particularly ironic, as one of the key talking points from the governor's opponents was that Walker didn't explicitly run on the issue of scaling back collective bargaining. They argue that if he had mentioned doing so in the 2010 campaign, he never would have been elected. And yet now they have a candidate who is trying to defeat Walker by declining to answer any questions about how he would govern if he were to win.
Today, a group of Republican leaders wrote a letter to Barrett, asking him for more details on what his budgetary plans as governor would look like. When asked whether he would give more or less money to schools to balance the budget, Barrett said, "We don't know the dollar amount. What we're going to do between June and January is create jobs in the state, and it's our hope in January we'll have a much better handle on what to do to reverse (Walker's) cuts to education."
In other words, get back to him next year.