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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

 2:52 PM 

Barrett rallies students, defends recent TV ad

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told supporters today on the UW-Madison campus that Republicans "so overconfident and so cocky" about this fall's governor's race that they're already measuring the windows in the governor's mansion.

"The work begins tomorrow," Barrett said at at the Madison leg of his primary day statewide tour.

The mayor -- a heavy favorite over Tim John of Oconomowoc in the Dem primary -- heads to Oshkosh this evening for a primary night victory party. He told student backers that the Republicans' "whole strategy this fall is that you will not vote."

"They're banking on collective amnesia," Barrett said, blaming for Republican leadership for the economic downturn of late 2008. "Don't forget who drove that car into the ditch."

Speaking before the rally with reporters, Barrett defended his campaign's latest TV ad, which recounts his brutal assault while trying to intervene in a domestic incident outside State Fair Park last year.

Barrett said the experience changed his life and that the public should be aware that a candidate's life experience is an important part of who they are.

"It certainly has given me a different perspective on domestic violence," Barrett said of the assault.

Asked whether he was courting voter sympathy with the ad, Barrett said that as with any other political spot, "There'll be people who who like the ad and don't like the ad."

"For people who don't like negative ads, this was definitely a positive ad," the mayor said.

-- By Andy Szal

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