In visit, Walker discounts idea Wisconsin lagging Minnesota

Visiting Minnesota, likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is discounting the idea that Wisconsin’s economy has performed worse on his watch than its Democratic-led neighbor.

Walker maintained Thursday that Wisconsin made gains since he took office and that the comparison to Minnesota needs extra context. Walker said Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has tumbled since he took office in 2011. Minnesota’s jobless rate has consistently been lower than Wisconsin’s but never climbed as high during the Great Recession.

Walker offered his assessment after following a closed meeting with Minnesota House and Senate Republicans. While in Minnesota, he was also scheduled to speak in private settings to top business leaders and a conservative group.

He reiterated his plans to wait until after Wisconsin’s budget passes in June to declare his presidential-race plans.